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The patella, or kneecap, is an integral component of the knee joint, protecting the front of the knee and connecting the quadriceps muscles and the lower leg. The patella slides up and down as the knee is bent and extended, and this is repeated extensively when running. One common type of anterior knee pain is called runner’s knee, or chondromalacia patella, an inflammation of the underside of the kneecap. Our knee specialist at Robotic Joint Center offers runner’s knee treatment at our orthopedic clinic in NYC.

What Is Chondromalacia Patella?

When repetitive stress is put on the front of the knee, it can cause a softening of the outside of the kneecap, a condition called chondromalacia patella, or runner’s knee. The pressure from the end of the femur on the patella can cause this damage to the cartilage under the kneecap. Specific knee movements can cause chondromalacia patella – running, jumping, squatting and cycling. There are also risk factors that contribute to runner’s knee, including flat feet, kneecap injuries, kneecap mal-tracking and muscle weakness.

Chondromalacia patella does not only impact runners, but it is primarily a sports-related condition. Symptoms of runner’s knee include:

  • Pain in the front of the knee joint (anterior)
  • Pain during activity, as well as after periods of rest
  • Increased pain when running downhill
  • Kneeling and squatting can cause pain

In most cases, runner’s knee responds to conservative treatments. Rest and anti-inflammatory treatments may help relieve pain. Rehabilitation can include improving support with proper footwear or braces, as well as strengthening leg muscles with specific physical therapy. In severe cases of patella cartilage damage, surgery may be recommended to relieve anterior knee pain.

If you are suffering from runner’s knee, treatment is available. Contact us at Robotic Joint Center to schedule a consultation with our knee specialist at our clinic in UES New York City.

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