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What is Patellar Chondromalacia?

Written by: Dra. Rosa de Vega José
Edited by: Anna Raventós Rodríguez

Schema_rodilla Also known as femoropatellar syndrome or femoro-patellar syndrome, it is a degenerative lesion that affects the patellar cartilage. This cartilage, located between the femur and the kneecap, has the function of avoiding friction between the kneecap and the femur.


Depending on the level of affectation, it is divided into degrees:

  • Grade 1 : There is edema and the cartilage is softened.
  • Grade 2: there is alteration in the surface of the cartilage.
  • Grade 3 : deeper layers of cartilage are altered.
  • Grade 4: involvement of the subchondral bone.


What causes patellar chondromalacia?

It can be due to multiple causes: alterations in the patellar alignment, posttraumatic, inflammatory pathology, structural alterations of the patella ... In addition, there are external factors, such as overweight, sports that cause impacts on the knee, alignment of the knee, atrophy or muscle weakness, exaggerated curve of the spine, lack of vascularization of the bone under the cartilage ...


What are the symptoms of patellar chondromalacia?

The fundamental symptom is pain in the anterior face of the knee, which worsens when going up and down stairs and after prolonged flexion of the same. May be accompanied by stiffness.


How can chondromalacia patella be treated?

It must try to solve the problems that trigger it: alterations of the alignment, muscular decompensations ...


In the first stage oral analgesics, oral chondroprotectors and rehabilitating treatment are used to enhance musculature and proprioception. If this is not enough, treatment with intra-articular hyaluronic acid may be added, including infiltration of platelet-rich plasma.


When all this fails, the surgical treatment must be evaluated, which will vary according to the degree of injury that the patient has. For more information about this, consult a specialist in Traumatology .

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Rosa de Vega José
Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. José Vega is a recognized specialist in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, an expert in arthroplasty and arthroscopy. He has made several doctoral courses in the art, and has participated in numerous conferences and congresses. It also has several publications.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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