Chondomalacia Patellae

Terminology:

Chondro (cartilage) – malacia (abnormal appearing or inflammation) – patella (knee cap) = inflammation of the cartilage under the kneecap.

Chondromalacia patellae is a cause of knee pain also known as or related to:

Patello Femoral Pain syndrome, 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 kneecap (patella) sits on a shallow groove at the front of the knee. When the leg is bent the kneecap moves backwards and forwards in this groove.

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

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

  1. The foot rolling inwards and causing the knee to follow and rotate inwards
  2. Weak muscles around the hip that allow your hip to drop and 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:

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 so you can find your perfect fit!