Chondromalacia Patella


Chondromalacia patella is a softening and degeneration of the articular cartilage of the patellofemoral joint as a result of overuse, injury, or abnormal joint mechanics. The condition is a common source of anterior knee pain. Most patients with chondromalacia patella may be treated nonsurgically. Surgical treatment includes lateral retinacular release when there is lateral facet softening as a result of chronic patellar tilt; proximal reconstruction of the medial patellofemoral ligament and tibial tubercle transfer to stabilize the extensor mechanism in patients with recurrent instability; anteromedial tibial tubercle transfer for patients in whom a distal articular cartilage lesion is a chronic source of pain; and articular resurfacing, when a rebalancing procedure fails to remove stress from a deficient and/or painful patellofemoral joint surface. In some patients, a combination of procedures may be most appropriate.

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