Condramalacia Patella

Three of the most common types of knee injuries are explained below.

Ligament sprains or tears – Ligaments provide stability to the knee by providing extra support around the knee capsule and joint. When a ligament is over-stretched the ligament fibres can be damaged, resulting in pain, swelling and in many cases, joint instability.

Cartilage tears (Meniscal tears) – The cartilage acts as a shock absorber in the knee joint and assists the ligaments in providing stability. Cartilage can be damaged over a prolonged period as a result of natural wear and tear or when the knee is injured.

Knee-Cap Pain (Patellofemoral Pain / CMP Condramalacia Patella) – In the normal knee, the patella (knee cap) glides up and down through a groove in the bottom of the thigh bone (femur) when the knee is moved.

If the knee cap does not move smoothly through this groove, an increase in pressure on the underneath surface of the patella is created, causing pain and inflammation. Abnormal movement of the patella can be caused by; muscle imbalance, a shallow groove in the femur, soft tissue tightness and pronated (flat) feet.

Pain generally develops over a period of time and can manifest as either a dull ache and/or a sharp pain. The pain tends to be aggravated by any bent knee activity such as kneeling, squatting, sitting for prolonged periods, or when negotiating stairs.

Treatment for Condramalacia Patella

It is important that the correct diagnosis is made for all knee injuries and that treatment commences as quickly as possible. Treatment techniques can include specific strengthening exercises to correct a muscle imbalance, soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, and the fitting of custom made orthotics (biomechanics) to correct excessive foot pronation (which has a direct link to patellofemoral pain). Dry needling of soft tissue may also be used to enhance healing and provide pain relief.