Munson Health
 
Chondromalacia Patella

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by Alan R
 

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Acute Care

Rest
Your knee will need time to heal. Avoid activities that place extra stress on your knee:
  • Do not do activities that cause pain. This includes running, jumping, and weight lifting using the leg muscles.
  • If normal walking hurts, shorten your stride.
  • Do not play sports until your doctor has said it is safe to do so.
Cold
Apply an ice or a cold pack to the area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for several days after the injury. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel.
Pain Relief Medications
To manage pain, your doctor may advise:
  • Over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Topical pain medication—creams or patches that are applied to the skin to help with soft tissue pain
  • Prescription pain relievers
Compression
Compression can help prevent more swelling. Your doctor may advise an elastic compression bandage around your knee. Be careful not to wrap the bandage too tight.
After treatment, you may need an elastic knee sleeve with the kneecap cut out to help support the knee joint.
Elevation
Elevation can also help keep swelling down. Keep your knee higher than your heart as much as possible.
Physical Therapy
You may be referred to a physical therapist. You will be taught exercises to help reduce discomfort and to strengthen the muscles in your leg.

Surgery

In most cases, surgery is not needed. But for some patients who have continued pain, surgery may performed. Surgical procedures include the following:
  • Moving the quadriceps muscle insertion on the lower leg to improve alignment
  • Releasing the lateral thigh muscles and tightening the medial muscles
  • Smoothing over the undersurface of the patella
  • Implanting cartilage taken from one’s own knee
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.org

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

 

References


Harris JD, Siston RA, Pan X, Flanigan DC. Autologous chondrocyte implantation: a systematic review. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Sep 15;92(12):2220-2233.


Knee pain. Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries%5Fpoisoning/sports%5Finjury/knee%5Fpain.html. Updated October 2013. Accessed February 28, 2014.


Patellofemoral pain syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 10, 2013. Accessed February 28, 2014.


Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee). John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/mens%5Fhealth/patellofemoral%5Fpain%5Fsyndrome%5Frunners%5Fknee%5F85,P07841/. Accessed February 28, 2014.


Runner's knee (patellofemoral pain). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00382. Updated August 2007. Accessed February 28, 2014.


Pihlajamäki HK, Kuikka PI, Leppänen VV, Kiuru MJ, Mattila VM. Reliability of clinical findings and magnetic resonance imaging for the diagnosis of chondromalacia patellae. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Apr;92(4):927-934.


Vasiliadis HS, Wasiak J, Salanti G. Autologous chondrocyte implantation for the treatment of cartilage lesions of the knee: a systematic review of randomized studies. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2010 Dec;18(12):1645-1655.

 

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