Friday, March 11, 2011

Chondromalacia Patella Symptoms - Causing Your Knee Pain And Grinding?

Chondromalacia patella symptoms present as a pain felt in the front of the knee and a grating or grinding sensation when the knee is flexed. Chondromalacia patella is caused by abnormal wear on the cartilage under the kneecap (patella). This condition generally affects teens and young adults. This article will look at the distinguishing characteristics of the disorder so you can form and early medical symptom diagnosis and be better prepared for a consultation with your doctor.

Chondromalacia Patella Symptoms And Causes

Symptoms may include:

Pain that is felt under the kneecap (front of the knee)Knee pain that increases when walking up steps or sitting with the knees bent in a cramped space for long periods ("movie sign")Grating or grinding sensation when the knee is flexed or bentCrunching sound (crepitus) when the knee joint is moved through a normal range of motionSome cases may experience stiffness, swelling, tenderness, or buckling of the knee

Chondromalacia patella occurs most often in teenagers and young adults and is more common in females. The condition may be caused by an abnormal pull of the quadriceps muscles (thigh muscles) on the kneecap which results in the kneecap being pulled out of its normal groove and becoming irritated.

Risk factors that may increase the risk of developing chondromalacia patella include: an abnormal positioning of the kneecap; tightness or weakness of the thigh muscles; overuse from activities such as running, jumping or twisting, skiing or playing soccer; flat feet; previous injury or trauma to the kneecap.

Chondromalacia Diagnosis And Treatment

Diagnosis will be based on the observation of the aforementioned symptoms and an evaluated by a physician. The evaluation should include a physical examination complete with orthopedic tests and possibly x-rays (typically normal) or an arthroscopic examination (visual examination of the knee joint using a scope).

Treatment includes resting the involved knee. Ice and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin may be used to relieve pain following activity that stresses the knee.

Physical therapy to balance the quadriceps and hamstring muscles may be helpful. Taping to realign the kneecap or wearing a brace that has an opening over the kneecap may help control the movement of the kneecap and diminish symptoms. Orthotics (specially fitted shoe inserts) may add support especially for those with flat feet.

If the conservative treatment options mentioned above do not relieve the symptoms or there are signs of arthritis developing, surgery may be an option. This may involve arthroscopic surgery (surgery using a camera inserted through a small opening).

The prognosis is good and the condition usually improves with therapy and the use of NSAIDS. If surgery is required, this is often successful.

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