Patient Comments: Chondromalacia Patella - Experience

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

Comment from: b-leann, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I am 30 years old and was so rough on my knees growing up, sports, and just normal 'I'm young and invincible'. Well, all that caught up with me. I was just diagnosed with chondromalacia patella and also an inflamed plica band. The plica band can be fixed, that one I'm not too worried about, if physical therapy doesn't work, we try injections, if those don't work we do surgery to relieve the tension. The doctor I saw was very straight forward (about the chondromalacia) and told me the only way to really get relief is to build up my quadriceps, that way should keep my knee cap from sliding and grinding. I have to avoid stairs, squats, running, and lunges; well, unless I just wanted to hurt. I also have to wear a brace during the day and ice at night when I get home. I am in the nursing field so it's pretty much impossible to keep off my feet. He has me going to physical therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks to get the muscles built up as much as possible. My options as per him were, they can go in and scrape cartilage but then by doing that to me seems like it'd be just taking away what cushion there is, steroid injections, or just deal with it. Well, I can say wearing the brace during the day and icing when I get home and the Aleve and avoiding what I know will just aggravate my knee I have felt some relief, but I know it's only temporary. From my understanding from the doctor and research this is something I will have to deal with the best I can and that the ball is in my court to do what I can to help.

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Comment from: JHawk, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I started experiencing increased knee pain after playing softball in August. I am an avid player, and I am very familiar with the RICE method for sports injuries. After a month of RICE, my knee was not improving. I got an x-ray which was normal. I got an MRI, and I was told I have patellofemoral chondromalacia, as well as ganglion cysts. The doctor I saw did not give me very much information on treating this condition. It feels like a blowtorch is constantly running underneath my kneecap. The pain keeps me up at night. Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Advil are not effective in treating the pain. I wear a brace every day, and I have limited my more aggressive activities. This condition is already effecting my lifestyle, and I am not really sure where to go from here. I guess my next step is a second opinion.

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Comment from: Kenyav, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

I am 31 I have been dealing with chondromalacia patella for over a year. I have been to the doctor and hospitals because of the pain. I have had two injections and also weeks of therapy. None of that have seemed to work, the shots worked for a few weeks then they stopped working. I am getting surgery next month.

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Comment from: Phil, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 08

Well, I developed chondromalacia patella when I was 17, from a fall. I am 32 and have had pain off and on since I was 17. I just went to the orthopedist and my old MRI was apparently not good enough so I have to get another one. Assuming what I have read online here is true, it never gets better only worse. Now I think that is promising, so another MRI is going to say obviously, it is worse. Especially when I lift my leg from bent to straight, my knee cap bone skips across the joint with one loud pop. I did read about cartilage replacement somewhere, why are we not being offered that solution! What I have noticed with my pain is too much exercise or too little causes severe pain. I have a special brace that helps but it still hurts to go upstairs and cold weather makes it throb.

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Comment from: nicky, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

I am 40 this year and was diagnosed with chondromalacia patella when I was 17. I was very fit and active then and was training to go into the police force. They said it was the physical training I was doing that caused my knee problems. Every year I get times where my knee pain is unbearable but I have got so used to it now it is just my way of life. I don't take pain killers for it, I sometimes wear a knee sock but that doesn't really help. The doctors told me it normally goes away with age; I am still waiting!

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Comment from: Jknees, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

I am 23, I've had 2 ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstructions on both knees (total of 4 surgeries) from basketball through high school and climbing post-college. The most recent surgery left me with patellofemoral pain syndrome and chondromalacia in both knees. The chronic pain was almost to the point where it was unbearable, however I started to do a lot of VMO (vastus medialis oblique) strengthening/targeting as well as some low grade hiking which for some reason seems to help the most with curbing pain symptoms. Lots of ibuprofen and ice help as well. I have a limited range of motion in both legs, so stretches are limited. I do try to do a decent amount of core strengthening as well as exercises to help with my hip alignment (going to the chiropractor has also been a great help). It took me a really long time to figure out what could help and what wouldn't, so hopefully this post will help someone out! That being said, in my case I do have a lot of damage from surgeries, trauma and general mal-alignment and will probably need a double knee replacement around 40. Bad knees are no fun!

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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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