Chondromalacia patellae which is also known as CMP is inflammation of the underside of the patella and softening of the cartilage. Chondromalacia patellae is a term sometimes treated synonymously with patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Plain radiographs of the knee cannot assess for chondral changes and can only demonstrate features of osteoarthritis (OA) involving the patellofemoral joint in end-stage disease. A joint effusion may be visible. CT arthrograms can be used to diagnose plicae and focal cartilage defects but are insensitive to early chondral injury.
The treatment includes Physical therapy focusing on strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors can help improve the muscle strength and balance. Muscle balance will help prevent knee misalignment. It is typically recommended to carry out non-weight-bearing exercises, such as swimming or riding a stationary bike. Additionally, isometric exercises that involve tightening and releasing your muscles can help to maintain muscle mass.
Patients with chondromalacia patellae usually present with anterior knee pain on walking up or down stairs. Additionally there may be knee pain when kneeling or squatting or after sitting for long periods of time. Knee stiffness, crepitus and effusions may also be present. In some cases, a history of patellar dislocation may be present.
Another mode of treatment is surgery. Arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to examine the joint and determine whether there’s misalignment of the knee. This surgery involves inserting a camera into the joint through a tiny incision. A surgical procedure may fix the problem. One common procedure is a lateral release. This operation involves cutting some of your ligaments to release tension and allow for more movement. Other surgical options may involve smoothing the backside of the kneecap, implanting a cartilage graft, or relocating the insertion of the thigh muscle.