What is chondromalacia patellae?

Chondromalacia patella is one of the most common causes of knee pain.. It is the degeneration of the cartilage of this joint and can appear as early as adolescence. A sedentary lifestyle or overexertion in sports activities can favor the appearance of this pathology.

Below, we tell you in detail what chondromalacia patella is, its symptoms and how to treat it.

What is chondromalacia patellae?

We call cartilage wear and tear chondromalacia. In this case, it happens in the knee joint, in the posterior capsule of the patella. The cartilage in this area begins to soften and, if not remedied, may end up disappearing completely.

Causas de la condromalacia rotuliana

Causes of chondromalacia patellae

When it comes to joint wear, age is a factor to take into account. However, chondromalacia patella is also common among young people.

The causes of chondromalacia  They are very varied:

  • Genetic factors that alter the structure of the knee or produce an incorrect footprint.
  • Decompensations of the quadriceps muscles. What can happen both due to excessive exercise and sedentary lifestyle.
  • Visceral dysfunctions, which increase tension in the muscle chain that affects the quadriceps muscles.
  • Trauma, either from repetition or a single impact.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

Can chondromalacia patellae be prevented?

Despite the diversity of the causes, some basic good practices can prevent the appearance of chondromalacia patellae.

  • Respect the body's rest periods and do not overexert yourself in sports activities.
  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Low-impact sports on the knee, such as cycling or swimming, are perfect.
  • Take care of your diet. In this way, overweight is avoided and internal organs are kept in good condition. It is always a good idea to avoid ultra-processed foods.
  • In the event of biomechanical imbalances, go to a podiatrist to perform a footstep study. An insole can prevent the cartilage in your knee from wearing down.
  • Go to a health professional if you have pain in the knee area.

¿Cuánto tiempo tarda en curarse la condromalacia rotuliana_

Symptoms of chondromalacia patellae

The clearest symptom is pain in the front of the knee, especially when performing movements such as going up or down stairs. It can also appear after spending some time sitting, such as when we are driving or at the movies.

Noises or cracking sounds may appear when you move your knee, due to wear and tear of the cartilage.

Treatments for chondromalacia patellae

He chondromalacia treatment It will depend on its cause. Cartilage does not regenerate, so it is important to go to a traumatology specialist  so that you can find the specific treatment for our case.

If the origin is a muscle imbalance, the physiotherapist will design a exercise program for chondromalacia patellae. If it is a biomechanical alteration, we may need surgery. Diet changes can also help.

What is the operation for chondromalacia patellae?

It uses the knee arthroscopy for chondromalacia patellae. It is a minimally invasive operation in which the worn cartilage is repaired, which gives us back the freedom of movement of the knee without pain.

For a complete recovery, surgery is complemented with other non-invasive procedures.

Advantages of knee arthroscopy for chondromalacia patellae.

The knee arthroscopy  It is a minimally invasive technique, which respects the tissues as much as possible. An optic is inserted through small incisions, which allow the injury to be treated in a simple way without having to open the knee.

Normally the patient is discharged the same day as the intervention, and the recovery time is shorter than that of conventional knee surgery.

Consequences of chondromalacia.

Chondromalacia can cause complete loss of cartilage in the kneecap. If not treated in time, it can also lead to a decrease in the functionality of the knee. It is essential not to postpone a visit to the doctor if we feel pain in the knee or mobility problems.

How long does chondromalacia patella take to heal?

In most cases, a conservative treatment of chondromalacia   to find improvement in a few weeks, although, if we do not take care of our weight, diet and the type of sports activities, the symptoms could reappear.

If surgery is necessary, the total recovery time usually lasts between two and six months.

Chondromalacia patella is very common. It is a pathology that can appear from adolescence or youth. If you have any problem with pain or lack of mobility in the knee joint, it is best not to delay and go to a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Early diagnosis can significantly speed recovery

 At Elgeadi Traumatology we combine the latest technology with the best professionals in minimally invasive techniques, always in the hands of the best team of specialists in  traumatology of Madrid.

16 thoughts on “¿Qué es la condromalacia rotuliana?”

  1. Hello Dr, I'm Ana, the ultrasound showed enthesopathic changes in the upper anterior margin of both patellas and slight thinning of the trochlear cartilage, with a degenerative appearance. Also, slight irregularity of the femorotibial cortices, with a degenerative appearance. With this, please do I have to have surgery Dr? I await a response. Thank you

  2. Hello, I had an MRI and it showed chondrosis 4 and tendonitis. My question is do I need surgery or is it just therapy? And how long does it take to improve?

    • Hello Sandra,
      Contromalacia can cause cartilage loss if not treated in time.
      The tests should be evaluated and see if it is necessary to perform arthroscopy. We recommend you request an appointment by calling 91 005 39 00.

  3. Hello, I had an MRI and it showed chondrosis 4 and tendonitis. My question is do I need surgery or is it just therapy? And how long does it take to improve? Thank you, I await your response ☺️

    • Hello Sandra,
      We would have to see your tests and analyze that along with your medical history, age, mobility, previous pathologies, and other factors that may influence the choice of treatment.
      Make an appointment by calling (+34) 910 053 900 and we will help you personally.

  4. Hello, I had an MRI done and the result was grade IV chondropathy of the femoral trochlea of the left knee and grade 2 on the right, what treatment should I follow and if it is necessary to operate, the pain is very intense when going up or down stairs. and when bending the knee

    • Hello Suzana,
      To recommend a treatment we would have to treat your case personally, since we have very little data to see how to move forward.
      You can make an appointment with our team by calling 91 005 39 00 and we will evaluate your case personally.

    • Hello Mari Carmen,
      We do not recommend any medication/supplement without first knowing your case.
      We need more information to know how your pathology can improve and what type of treatment you should undergo.


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At Elgeadi Traumatología we are committed to our community and open to advise and answer any question whenever possible.

To offer an accurate diagnosis to the patient, a personalized evaluation and a thorough review of their medical history will always be necessary. Once the case has been studied individually, the most appropriate treatment will be recommended to the patient according to their pathology and/or illness.

Furthermore, at Elgeadi Traumatology, we would like to remind you that no medication will be prescribed without prior consultation.

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