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Patellofemoral syndrome; Knee pain - chondromalacia
Temporarily resting the knee and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin may help relieve pain. Physical therapy, especially quadriceps strengthening and hamstring stretching, may be helpful.
Stretch the muscles on the back (hamstrings) and front (quadriceps) of your upper leg.
Your health care provider can teach you ways to make these muscles tighter. Stronger muscles will help hold your kneecap in the correct position.
If you need to lose weight, find out how.
Changing the way you exercise may help:
Other techniques are:
Make sure your running shoes:
If the pain does not improve and there are signs of arthritis developing around the kneecap, surgery may be an option. Surgery may be done using:
During the surgery, kneecap cartilage that has been damaged may be removed. Changes may be made to the tendons to help the kneecap move more evenly.
Chondromalacia patella usually improves with therapy and use of NSAIDs. For the few people who need it, surgery is successful most of the time.
The main complication is failure of treatment to relieve pain.
When surgery is necessary, surgical complications may include:
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disorder.
May TJ. Persistent anterior knee pain. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:277-278.
De Carlo M, Armstrong B. Rehabilitation of the knee following sports injury. Clin Sports Med. 2010;29:81-106.
Steiner T, Parker RD. Patella: subluxation and dislocation. 2. Patellofemoral instability: recurrent dislocation of the patella. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Dree's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 22:sect C.
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