Chondromalacia Patella - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms and signs of chondromalacia patella?

The symptoms of chondromalacia patella are generally a vague discomfort of the inner front of the knee, aggravated by activity (running, jumping, climbing or descending stairs) or by prolonged sitting with knees in a moderately bent position (the so called "theater sign" of pain upon arising from a desk or theater seat). Some patients may also have a vague sense of "tightness" or "fullness" in the knee area. Occasionally, if chronic symptoms are ignored, the associated loss of quadriceps (thigh) muscle strength may cause the leg to "give out." Besides an obvious reduction in quadriceps muscle mass, mild swelling of the knee area may occur.

Return to Chondromalacia Patella (Patellofemoral Syndrome)

See what others are saying

Comment from: sportygirl, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I'm only 16 years old. I'm an athlete at the highest levels, and in top shape. 9 months ago, I got into a collision with another player during my soccer game. We hit shin on shin, hard. At the time, I simply assumed it was twisted. Three months later I had pain doing pretty much anything with my knee. I was then diagnosed with patellofemoral syndrome. I've been in physiotherapy for the past 6 months, and the remain symptoms are a pain near constant on the inside of my knee, random and in predictable spells when my knee gives out, theater sign, and pain levels that go up and down.

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Comment from: Izzy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I am 26 years old, and two months ago while I was at work my knee started swelling. In approximately five hours my knee was the size of a softball. I made an appointment with my doctor that day. When I went to see him, he did not know what had caused it. He asked me if I had injured myself or if I had done anything recently that would have aggravated my knee. I explained that I have a desk job. And that I had not done anything, and could not recall having hurt my knee. He then tried to drain my knee with no avail. He then gave me a steroid shot into my knee cap. That did not work. He prescribed me Naproxen. That did not help either. He upped the Naproxen, which still did not help with the swelling or the pain. He then sent me to a specialist whom diagnosed me with patellofemoral syndrome. He prescribed me diclofenac and physical therapy. A week later I had a massive allergic reaction to the diclofenac, and I was on the verge of a stroke when I got to the emergency room. I have not yet gone to set up my physical therapy and have been dealing with the pain, due to my having to recover from the side effect of my reaction. I am hoping that when I do start physical therapy that it will help, because my knee is still extremely swollen and I am still in pain.

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