Chondromolacia patellae (CMP) is commonly referred to as anterior knee pain due to mechanical changes of the patellofemoral joint. The word chondromalacia is derived from greek words chrondos-cartilage and malakia-softening. This is attributed to degenerative changes that result in swelling, fraying, and softening of the cartilage underneath the knee that can be very painful. The knee is made up of 4 bones: the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. The patella (kneecap), articulates with the femur at something called the trochlear groove. Causation of CMP are a combination of traumatic, anatomical changes, repetitive stress, and aging/degenerative changes. As it worsens the joint space narrows and osteoarthritic changes begin to appear.

The main symptom is anterior knee pain which is worsened by activities that load the knee joint, such as:

  • Running
  • Stair climbing
  • Squatting
  • Kneeling

Common symptoms include:

  • Anterior Knee Pain
  • Clicking or catching sensation
  • Worse with going up or down stairs
  • Pain after prolonged sitting

In the treatment of Chondromalacia Patellae, conservative care is recommended with multiple things needing to be addressed. Education is a big aspect of understanding not only what is causing this injury, but also how to manage this appropriately. Modalities like Shockwave therapy and Winback Tecar therapy can promote new tissue growth and nutritional supply to the articular cartilage as well as decrease pain symptoms to better utlize what our next and crucial step is going to be.

CMP is can be attributed as an overload injury, so addressing biomechanical deficiencies to the hip, knee, ankle/foot are important in giving long term relief and getting you back to doing what you love. Rehabilitation commonly includes a combination of soft tissue mobilization to the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip musculature, stabilization of the knee joint, and gradual progression of correctives to make your knee joint resilient!

If you're interested and want to know more about how to manage your knee pain effectively, go to and schedule your FREE Discovery visit or your New Patient appointment!

Dr. Caleb Hebert

Dr. Caleb Hebert

Doctor of Chiropractic

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