Chondromalacia Patella is classified by pain on the underside of the kneecap (patella). This pain is often caused by damage to the cartilage under the kneecap. This cartilage acts as a shock absorber and distributes weight and force throughout the knee. Degeneration of this cartilage can be a result of repetitive concussive forces to the knee joints or the patella. When this cartilage becomes worn or damaged it can cause the kneecap to rub directly against the knee joint resulting in pain. The pain is most often felt during physical activity or prolonged periods of sitting.
This can be a common athletic injury in sports that require excessive running, use of the knee for generating force or change in direction (soccer, tennis, basketball, cycling, gymnasts, equestrians, etc). This can also be a common injury among skateboarders as a result of the constant impact of the foot with the ground needed to propel the skateboard. Also, breaststroke swimmers often suffer this injury as the breaststroke requires an unnatural motion of the knee to accelerate through the water.
Signs and symptoms of Chondromalacia Patella can include:
- Dull pain in the knee
- Aching in the knee
- Limited range of motion in the knee
- Sensitivity to touch
- Difficulty climbing stairs