Knee pain is common and can be caused by many things. Chondromalacia patella is a specific type of knee pain that develops when the cartilage behind your kneecap has been damaged. Dr. Paul Tortland and Dr. Jeffrey LaVallee at the New England Stem Cell Institute specialize in diagnosing and managing knee conditions like chondromalacia patella and offer regenerative medicine treatments as a non-surgical option.
Also known as patellofemoral syndrome, chondromalacia patella is a painful knee condition caused by damage to the cartilage behind your kneecap that causes your knee and thigh bone to rub together. It’s considered a type of arthritis. Your kneecap sits on a shallow groove at the lower end of your thighbone. Like your kneecap, the groove, called the trochlea, is covered in a thin layer of cartilage, which allows your kneecap to glide without friction every time you bend or straighten your knee.
Chondromalacia patella happens when the kneecap misaligns with that groove, usually along the outside. The situation puts more wear-and-tear on the cartilage and leads to the development of chondromalacia patella and the resulting pain. Young athletes are most at risk of developing this, particularly young female athletes.
With chondromalacia patella, you can experience pain when going up or down stairs or after sitting for a while. You can also experience a clicking or grinding behind the kneecap. Some patients report joint instability and feeling as though their knee is “giving out.”
The team at New England Stem Cell Institute starts treatment for chondromalacia patella with a well-designed physical therapy program that addresses the pain and the misalignment of the kneecap.
If you continue to experience knee pain after physical therapy, the team may then suggest regenerative therapy like prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma, or stem cells in combination with your rehab program. These treatments heal your damaged cartilage and tighten any loose ligaments that could be allowing your kneecap to be pulled off track. In some cases, we will recommend other treatments like cortisone injections. Surgery for severe cases of chondromalacia is also sometimes necessary. It should be noted that our team often finds that cortisone injections and surgery carry more risks and might not provide the relief you expect.