What is Patellofemoral Arthralgia (Chondromalacia Patellae)?

Patellofemoral Arthralgia (soft tissue disorder) and Patellofemoral Chondromalacia (where damage to the cartilage on the underside of the patella [knee cap] has occurred) are characterised by anterior (frontal) knee pain made worse by climbing up and down stairs or sitting for prolonged periods of time and may be accompanied by crepitus (a grating sound). These conditions are caused by prolonged repetitive maltracking of the patella resulting in repetitive damage and irritation to the anterior structures of the knee.

There are many causes of patella maltracking, including an increased Q angle (the angle formed by the thigh bone and the shin bone), underdevelopment of one of the joint surfaces, high riding of the patella and/or a muscular imbalance involving the muscles that attach to the patella.

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