Chondromalacia patellae is also known as:

Pain under or around the knee cap, patello femoral pain syndrome (PFPS), runners knee, jumpers knee, lateral tracking of the patella, knee cap pain, patello femoral knee pain

Description:

Chondromalacia patella is a common running complaint for active people of all ages that involves pain and inflammation under or around the kneecap (patella). The kneecap sits on a shallow groove at the front of the knee. When the leg is bent the kneecap (patella) moves backwards and forwards in this groove. 

Causes:

The most common cause of inflammation of the cartilage under the knee cap (chondromalacia patella) is the knee rotating inwards with walking and running. The knee cap gets pulled to the side and is not moving correctly in its shallow groove. This misalignment creates extra pressure and the cartilage under the knee cap becomes inflamed.

The two main causes of the knee rotating inwards excessively are:

1. The foot rolling inwards and causing the knee to rotate inwards

2. Weak glute muscles causing hip drop and the knee to collapse inwards.

Chondromalacia Patellae Treatments:

The three key treatment goals are:

  1. Correcting foot posture to prevent the knee rotating inwards:
  • being fitted with the correct shoes with the right type of support for your foot type.
  • running/walking technique to optimise gait efficiency
  • using orthoses, correctly prescribed, to control knee rotation.
  1. Correcting muscle imbalances by:
  • loosening the muscles on the outside of the leg (outer quads, ITB) with stretching, massaging and rollers
  • strengthening the inside of the leg (inner quads/VMO)
  • Shoes Feet Gear podiatrists work closely with your physio to help with this
  1. Strengthening and 'turning on' hip abductors when running:
  • exercises for the gluteus medius/minimus muscles
  • Shoes Feet Gear podiatrists work closely with your personal trainer to help with this.
  • Run Technique Assessments and Coaching by Shoes Feet Gear to help with run form to 'turn on' your hip stabilisers when running.

Summary:

Chondromalacia Patellae is one of the most commonly diagnosed complaints that occur with exercise. Click here to make an appointment for an assessment of your knee pain.