Patient Comments: Chondromalacia Patella - Experience

Please describe your experience with chondromalacia patella (patellofemoral syndrome).

Comment from: fran Smith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I have lived with knee pain for years. It is worse in my left knee I have had 2 arthroscopic surgeries on my left knee and still no relief. I survive on a daily basis by taking pain medications and sitting on a heating pad. I however was never a runner or played any type of sports yet I have suffered from this chondromalacia patella for years. I have tried the cortisone injections with which I received no relief at all and I am currently in the process of seeing yet another orthopedist.

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Comment from: bratt, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I've been having this problem for a while now and it's getting worse. I went through physical therapy twice, still no relief. It's getting harder to get around (walking, bending, kneeling and the stairs). I've tried several medications which don't relieve the pain.

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Comment from: ab26, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I was diagnosed 3 years ago while I was in college for ECE Electrical and Computer Engineering) - so now I can't do what I went to school for and had to fight to get disability. It took almost a year to get all the tests done and figure out exactly what the problem was. Because of chondromalacia patella my right knee (the really bad one) has degraded so bad to the point that I am 26 and I already have signs of early onset osteoarthritis. It is not a fun thing to have to go through - I have good days and bad. The really bad days are when it's damp and cold and the anti-inflammatories I'm on don't really do anything; and I'm on the max dose.

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Comment from: m43, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I had knee surgery at 20 for a meniscus tear and the doctor told me I also have chondromalacia patella and he scraped the back of my kneecap to help. Twenty years later and after two more surgeries for more meniscus tears I still need cortisone shot every three months without any relief. I have been taking two 10-325 pain medicine every 4 to 6 hours ritually just to get to work and through the day. This is the worst knee pain any one can have; when I lay down I can count my heart beats through the throbbing.

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Comment from: babymama, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

While I was in the Navy I served five straight years of sea duty on destroyers. These small ships have many levels and lots of stairs. The boots I wore were standard issue steel toe boots. Over time, going up and down so many stairs every day as well as standing watches which required me to be on my feet for five or six hours at a time, my knees became quite achy. It hurt them to sit for long periods, it hurt when I woke up in the morning. Eventually it hurts just to go up or down stairs. My knees did not keep me from being discharged at the termination of my contract; however, I applied for disability at the VA and was granted 10%. Almost three years later, I still occasionally experience that familiar dull ache behind my kneecaps. Just this morning I awoke to find that my left knee was just not happy with me.

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Comment from: manateemama, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I'm 57, have been dealing with chondromalacia patella for over 20 yrs. Seems common with fibromyalgia. I am still able to be pretty active. I swim at a gym where they keep the water at 86 degrees. I am able to bicycle if I limit the distance and wear Spandex type knee supports. I ice the daylights out of my knees the second I get off the bike, and continue to ice as much as I can throughout the day. I take generic Aleve as needed. I'm seeing a physical therapist for another problem and she noticed my knees. She has shown me how to tape them - it's easy and works well, and has recommended a knee brace that has a hole where the kneecap is, and has a horseshoe shaped support that can be moved to either side of the kneecap. I haven't tried it yet. I do exercises for the muscles around the knees, and because they do impact my knees, I also ice right after those. I change positions frequently when sitting. I've been taking glucosamine sulfate for just over 3 months, with no improvement noted. Sometimes I get depressed and overwhelmed by my pain and limitations, but I will die fighting this before I turn into mush (I hope).

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Comment from: Sonja, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

When I was in my 20's my knees started "giving out" on me occasionally without warning and with no pain associated. As the years went by I began hearing a grating noise when walking up or down stairs. Now in my 40's I am experiencing pain, weakness, stiffness as well as very loud grinding and grating. I am not overweight but probably would benefit from strengthening the muscles that support my knee. X-rays show the tell-tell sign (spot) indicating Chondromalacia Patellae as well as little or no space between the bones. I have started taking gluc, but have not seen an improvement yet. I am unable to sit with my legs bent as this produces stiffness and pain. Also, if I walk or stand for long periods of time my legs become so painful and weak that I can barely stand another minute and must sit and rest. I have children and I am a very active person, but this has changed my life. I cannot walk down stairs without holding the stair rail as my knees feel so unstable and I cannot participate in activities with my children the way I would like too. I am hesitant to see a doctor because I have NEVER heard of anyone having successful knee surgery and it usually brings on a slew of other problems!

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Chondromalacia Patella - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your chondromalacia patella?
Chondromalacia Patella - Treatment Question: What forms of therapy or treatment did you receive for your chondromalacia patella (patellofemoral syndrome)?

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