Symptoms and Signs of Chondromalacia Patella Symptoms, Treatment, Surgery, and Cure

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Chondromalacia Patella Symptoms, Treatment, Surgery, and Cure

Chondromalacia patella (patellofemoral syndrome) is the weakening and softening of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella) and is a common cause of knee pain, especially in women. Degeneration of this particular cartilage occurs because of improper alignment of the kneecap as it slides over the bone of the thigh (femur).

Symptoms of chondromalacia patella may include a vague discomfort of the inner knee area, that is aggravated by activity (for example, running, jumping, climbing, or descending stairs) or by prolonged sitting with the knees in a moderately bent position; a vague sense of tightness or fullness in the knee area, particularly if the knee is swollen; and if chronic symptoms are ignored, the associated loss of quadriceps (thigh) muscle strength and bulk may occasionally result in leg weakness.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.