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Patellar Chondral – Causes, Symptoms, Prevent and Treatment

Friday, June 29th 2012. | Bone Health

What is Patellar Chondral

The patellar cartilage lesions is characterized by painful and degenerative changes of articular cartilage of the patella. At first, the cartilage changes are asymptomatic cartilage damage causing pain only at an advanced stage. Often, both knees are affected.

The cartilage can crack and even lead to exposure of the bone, with consequent pain.

The pain in anterior knee are common in young women and in both sexes during puberty. For biomechanical reasons, many athletes (football players, skiers, athletes), people who work on their knees and more and more sports fans are affected.

Untreated, the disease causes complete degeneration of cartilage avce development of osteoarthritis.

Patellar Chondral Causes

The causes of these alterations in the cartilage of the patella are often unknown. Over-exertion or sports professionals (installers of carpet or floor) favor such cartilage wear. In addition, athletes often suffer from pain behind the kneecap due to excessive sollication patellar tendon.

But pain can also occur in the absence of excessive force. In these cases, malformations and deformations of the patella are often the cause.

After accidents or injuries (also strain), knee pain may also occur. Aging and genetic predisposition may also give rise to cartilage deterioration.

Patellar Chondral Symptoms

  • Pain behind the kneecap, often felt as pain on palpation during knee movements against resistance.
  • Pain at rest during and especially after prolonged sitting and quiet (while driving, long-haul flights, cinema, computer work).
  • Pain during normal movement, often in both knees.
  • Accentuated pain in a squatting position, when walking downhill, when skiing, when descending stairs, when walking uphill cycling and when driving in the car (clutch, acceleration).
  • Friction possible behind the kneecap curve when the patient, or when folded stretches the knee joint.
patellar cartilage

Examinations (diagnosis)

  • History taking into account the patient’s symptoms: questions on the exact time and manner of onset of pain.
  • Physical examination, motor knee pain to the pressure at the patella occurring in cases of solicitation knee are common.
  • Slight drag behind the kneecap or noise during movement of the femur may be audible.
  • Palpation to detect possible deformations and instabilities of the knee. Sometimes it is possible to slide the ball strongly.
  • Radiograph of the knee joints and patella
  • Exploration of the joints (arthroscopy)
  • Magnetic resonance tomography

Patellar Chondral Treatment Options

  • The physiotherapy are the first line of treatment.
  • Rest the knee joints for a short time; possibly stabilizing the knee with a bandage.
  • Physiotherapy, strength training and stretching exercises to strengthen the extensor muscle of the thigh. The targeted stretch of this muscle reduces the pressure on the patella.
  • Eventually, electrostimulation
  • Hot baths containing wildflowers and salt can help alleviate symptoms.


  • Analgesics are rarely indicated, possibly injecting a local anesthetic in cases of severe pain.
  • Medicament for enhancing bone substance (chondroitin sulphate, optionally, hyaluronic acid).
  • (Cartilage line is often recommended as an alternative treatment).


In recent years there has been less and less need for surgery, although it may be necessary, eg. in case of large deformations. For this reason, the strong emphasis on prevention.

Preventive Measures

What can we do to heal a patellar chondral or to prevent disease?


  • Overexertion: avoid climbing stairs or squatting, especially in carrying loads.
  • Turn the upper body, holding the legs fixed (golf).
  • Hopping on one leg
  • Complete rest: always continue to make moves, but without taxing the knee, possibly wearing a bandage.
  • Some sports, which make great demands on his knees as football, skiing, tennis or jogging.

A favor

  • Sports such as swimming, walking, cycling (alternating); possibly only when the pain has disappeared.
  • Hiking: on downhill, always use sticks to unload the knees.
  • Women should wear flat shoes, wearing high heels and more sought knee ligaments.

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