Advanced Physical Therapy

Chondromalacia Patella

The patella, or knee cap, rides in a groove in the femur when the knee bends and straightens. In Patellofemoral knee pain, also known as Chondromalacia Patella, the undersurface of the knee cap becomes irritated or inflamed. The changes in the undersurface of the knee cap may occur in one small area or may involve the entire surface. Chondromalacia may develop following an acute trauma to the knee. More commonly, it is a result of a tracking problem of the knee cap in the groove of the femur. Symptoms usually occur during stair climbing, kneeling, or squatting. There is often cracking or popping with knee motion.

Physical Therapy Treatment Plan:After careful evaluation by the physical therapist, the first step in treating this condition is to reduce pain and inflammation. Treatments may include resting, modification of activities that aggravate the condition, ice, electrical stimulation, stretching and strengthening exercises to the quadriceps and hamstrings, and patellar mobilization. Bracing and taping are beneficial.

After your initial prescription for physical therapy is completed, your physician and physical therapist will decide if you need to continue physical therapy or if you will be discharged to a home exercise program.

This information is provided as a learning resource for the benefit of our patients. It is NOT INTENDED to replace personal consultation with your medical professionals.

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