Health and Fitness

Mild Patellar Chondrosis in The Knee

Are you an athlete or sportsman? If yes, then you should know about the runner’s knee condition. Also known as chondromalacia patellae, it happens when the cartilage on the beneath surface of your kneecap degenerates and softens. It usually impacts people involved in vigorous activities regardless of age or the ones who suffer from osteoarthritis. So, this article will explore the specifics of mild patellar chondrosis in the knee.

If you are involved in sports or aggressive activities, your joints are likely to be overused. So, if you suffer from chondrosis, you should take a break for a few days to allow yourself to heal.

However, improper knee alignment is the leading cause in some situations, so just resting might not provide relief. Hence, you may continue suffering from pain behind knee and grinding sensations. However, the majority of sufferers are likely to ignore the condition and never seek medical assistance.  

What are the Causes of Patellar Chondrosis?

Your patella (kneecap) usually rests on the knee front. So, when you flex your knee, the backside of the patella might slide over the cartilage of your thigh bone. The tendons and ligaments are likely to connect your patella to your shinbone and thigh muscle. So, when any of these constituents fail to function correctly, it may cause your kneecap to friction against the thigh bone. Therefore, this irregular rubbing can cause degeneration of the patella, causing the runner’s knee.

If you have improper kneecap movement, you are likely to experience the following issues:

  • Inappropriate kneecap alignment due to a hereditary condition.
  • Weak hamstrings and quadriceps (your back and front thigh muscles).
  • Muscle disproportion among the adductors and abductors (internal and external thigh muscles).
  • Repetitive pressure on knee joints due to running, jumping, or skiing.
  • A direct hit or trauma to your patella.

What are the Risks of Patellar Chondrosis?

Several factors may elevate the likelihood of developing a runner’s knee:


As you age, the risk of developing chondromalacia patellae increases. During growth spouts, your muscles and bones are likely to grow swiftly, which may add up to short-term muscle disparities.  


Women are more likely to experience this ailment compared to males. The reason is that women body has fewer muscles than men. So, this can lead to abnormal knee positioning and more significant side pressure on the kneecap.

Flat Feet

If you have flat feet, it may place more pressure on your knee joints than if you had arched feet.

Former Injury

If your kneecap is already injured or dislocated, your risk of developing chondrosis is higher.

Greater Activity Level

If your activity level is high or involved in laborious exercises, it may stress your knee joints and elevate risks for a knee problem.  


Chondrosis is also a sign of osteoarthritis, a condition that leads to inflamed tissues and joints. However, soreness can prevent the proper functioning of your patella.

What are the Symptoms of Patellar Chondrosis?

Knee pain might indicate chondromalacia patellae, also known as patellofemoral pain. Besides, you may also feel a grinding or cracking sensation when you flex or extend your knee. However, the pain may aggravate when you sit for long periods or perform activities that place too much stress on your knee, like exercising or standing for long hours. You may try some home remedies to treat your knee pain. However, you should visit a specialist if your condition does not improve within a few days.

How to Diagnose Patellar Chondrosis?

When you visit a doctor, they may examine your knee for inflammation and sensitivity. The physician may also inspect how your kneecap aligns with your thigh bone. So, a knee misalignment indicates chondromalacia patellae. So, your doctor may spread over resistive pressure to an extended patella to determine the sensitivity and intensity of the condition.

After that, your consultant may ask you to conduct the following imaging tests for proper diagnosis and grading:

  • X-rays to determine bone damage or extend of misalignment
  • MRI to examine cartilage wear and tear
  • Arthroscopic examination to inspect the inner side of the knee. It entails inserting an endoscope and camera within your knee joint.


Runner’s knee range from grade 1 to 4. Each surpassing grade represents a higher intensity of the condition.

Grade 1

It represents softening of the cartilage in the knee region.

Grade 2

Grade 2 represents softened cartilage accompanied by abnormal surface characteristics. It marks the start of tissue destruction.  

Grade 3

It represents thinning of cartilage with active tissue degeneration.

Grade 4

It indicates bone exposure when a significant cartilage portion degenerates. Bone exposure implies bone-to-bone rubbing.

What is the Treatment of Patellar Chondrosis?

The treatment aims to eliminate pressure on the kneecap and knee joint. So, the primary treatment includes resting, ice therapy, and joint stabilizing. Therefore, resting can prove extremely helpful in repairing damaged cartilage. And, your doctor is likely to recommend you resting and anti-inflammatory medicines to ease the joint. However, if the symptoms persist, your physician may consider the following treatments:

Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy focuses on reinforcement of your quads, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors. It helps enhance your muscle strength and balance. So, when your muscle balance improves, it is easier to prevent knee misalignment. Some of the recommended exercises include swimming or riding a stationary bicycle.


Your doctor may carry out an arthroscopic surgery to examine the joint and detect the joint misalignment. Your physician may insert a camera through a tiny incision. Another standard treatment is lateral release, and this involves dissecting a few of your ligaments to release tension and enable improved knee movement. At the same time, other surgical options may include:

  • Smoothing the backside of the patella.
  • Embedding a cartilage bud.
  • Repositioning the thigh muscle insertion.

How to Prevent This Condition?

  • Avoid movements that place excessive pressure on your kneecaps.  
  • Support muscle balance through physiotherapy.
  • Use shoe inserts that help lift the flat feet and increase the arch.
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight as it will help reduce pressure on your knee.

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