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Chondromalacia Patella (cont.)

Chondromalacia Patella Causes

Chondromalacia patella can occur for unknown reasons, but it usually is caused by improper tracking of the kneecap (patella) as it slides over the bone of the thigh (femur). This misalignment leads to degeneration of the cartilage underneath the kneecap and results in localized knee pain.

The patella (kneecap) is normally pulled over the end of the femur in a straight line by the quadriceps (thigh) muscle. Patients with chondromalacia patella frequently have abnormal patellar tracking toward the outer (lateral) side of the femur. This slightly off-kilter pathway allows the undersurface of the patella to grate along the femur, causing chronic inflammation and pain. Certain individuals are predisposed to develop chondromalacia patella: females, knock-kneed or flat-footed runners, or those with an unusually shaped patellar undersurface.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/19/2014

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