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Human Body - Central States Orthopedics

Neck Shoulder Elbow Spine Wrist Hip Hand Knee Ankle Foot

Sports Medicine and Wellness

Chondromalacia

Your exam shows your knee pain is likely due to a cartilage swelling and irritation under the knee cap called chondromalacia. The knee cap moves up and down in its groove when you walk, run, or squat. It can become irritated from sports or work activities if the knee cap is not lined up perfectly or your quadriceps muscle is relatively weak. This can cause pain, usually around the knee cap but sometimes the back of the knee. It is most common in young and active people. Climbing stairs, prolonged sitting and rising from a chair will often make the pain worse. Treatment includes rest from activities which make it worse. The pain can be reduced with ice packs and anti-inflammatory pain medicine. Exercises to strengthen the thigh (quadriceps) muscle may help prevent further episodes of this condition. Shoe inserts to correct imbalances in the legs or feet may be prescribed by your doctor or a specialist. Support for the knee cap with a light brace may also be helpful. Call your caregiver if you are not improving after 2 – 3 weeks of treatment.

Seek medical care if

  • You have increasing pain or your knee becomes hot, swollen, red, or begins to give out or lock up on you

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