Chondromalacia patella, also known as runner's knee, is a condition that affects the cartilage on the undersurface of the kneecap. Typically, it affects young athletes or older adults with arthritis, and it deteriorates and softens the patella. It can be a result of overuse in sports, improper knee alignment, or excess weight on the knee. When patients have runner's knee, they can experience pain from the knee and femur rubbing together or grinding sensations when the knee is flexed, but many individuals never seek medical treatment. Doctors may use an MRI scan, blood tests, or an arthroscopy to accurately diagnose it.
Avoiding Irritating Movements Initially
For many individuals, chondromalacia patella is a result of overuse. This means it can be treated effectively by not using the knee and avoiding irritating movements. Rest can be sufficient for individuals suffering from mild runner's knee, though it is not the only solution for all cases. There are patients whose runner's knees are the result of improper alignment. In those cases, it is important for individuals to make sure they speak with a professional before beginning any form of treatment to ensure they are doing everything they can. Some patients may begin with a resting regimen and then switch to something more aggressive after rest has proven ineffective for them.