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A kneeling athlete woman holding her knee in pain.

The underside of the patella, or kneecap, is covered in articular cartilage that allows it to slide across the knee joint when running, walking or bending the knee. When this articular cartilage becomes soft, it can be easily damaged, resulting in dysfunction in the knee joint. Softening of the patella cartilage is called chondromalacia patella, often referred to as runner’s knee. Our knee specialist at Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA offers runner’s knee treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles.

Causes and Symptoms of Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia patella is called runner’s knee because it is a common sports injury or condition among runners and athletes. Repetitive bending of the knee when running and jumping can cause damage to the articular cartilage on the kneecap, or patella. Other causes of runner’s knee include a direct blow to the knee, misalignment of the kneecap or arthritis in the joint, all of which can damage the cartilage. Symptoms of runner’s knee include:

  • A catching or grinding sensation under the kneecap
  • Increased knee pain when running, climbing/descending stairs, kneeling or squatting
  • Knee pain when sitting for long periods or standing after sitting
  • Buckling or instability in the knee
  • Inflammation or swelling around the kneecap

In most cases, runner’s knee treatment is non-invasive and does not require surgery. Conservative therapies, like rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy and a knee brace may be recommended. In severe cases where conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be required. A procedure called a lateral release can help reduce irritation on the patella to relieve pain and other symptoms.

If you have knee pain or symptoms of runner’s knee, contact us at Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA. We offer runner’s knee treatment at our orthopedic clinic in Beverly Hills.

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