Chondromalacia Patella, Study Shows Knee Osteoarthritis Targets Knee Cap

By · November 1, 2011 · Filed in Chondromalacia Patella (knee cap pain)

Chondromalacia Patella – New Study Indicates Knee Osteoarthritis Targets the Patellofemoral Joint

Years ago it was thought that only 10% of the population suffered with osteoarthritis behind the knee cap (or chondromalacia patella).  A recent study released at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis indicates that this percentage is probably a lot higher than once believed.

First Let’s Define Chondromalacia Patella:

The back of the knee cap and the front of thigh bone make up the patellofemoral joint.  When there is osteoarthritis (cartilage loss or cartilage damage) behind the knee cap this condition is called chondromalacia patella. There are different stages of chondromalacia patella depending on the severity.  Grade I is the least severe and Grade IV is the most severe form of osteoarthritis. For example, if a doctor informs you that you have grade II chondromalacia patella it indicates that you have moderate osteoarthritis between the knee cap and thigh bone (the patellofemoral joint). 

Symptoms of Chondromalacia Patella:

Patients with knee osteoarthritis in the patellofemoral joint (or chondromalacia patella) have difficulty getting up from a chair (typically they need to use their arms to push themselves up), they have difficulty squatting, and stairs are typically a problem to climb. Patients will experience pain behind the knee cap anytime the knee is in a bent position and then extended or vice versa.  As the condition becomes more severe it will eventually affect the tibiofemoral joint (the joint that is formed between the thigh bone and shin bone).  This is why most people have osteoarthritis in both the patellofemoral joint (again the joint formed between the knee cap and thigh bone) AND the tibiofemoral joint. 

Most Conventional Knee Treatments for Chondromalacia Have a High Failure Rate…

Most orthopedic surgeons will not focus on the patellofemoral joint because most of the traditional knee treatments available have fairly high failure rates averaging about 30%. Instead surgeons focus on the tibiofemoral joint (the joint that is formed from the thigh bone and shin bone) but a recent study released at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis which involved 970 people found that more people had cartilage damage at the patellofemoral joint then the tibiofemoral joint. 

The National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation funded the study headed by Dr. Joshua Stefanik Ph.D., a research associate in Boston University’s Clinical Epidemiology, Research and Training Unit; and Dr. David Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of Sydney.

There were 970 people randomly recruited from the community for the Framingham (Mass.) Osteoarthritis Study.  The mean age was 63.4 and only 22% complained of knee pain.  An MRI was performed and found that 20.4% of the 970 people had cartilage damage in the patellofemoral joint versus only 10.4% had damage in the tibiofemoral joint, and finally 44.2% had damage in both joints.

More People Have Chondromalacia Patella Then Previously Believed…

“Historically everybody (clinicians) focuses on the tibiofemoral joint, (so) we are probably missing a lot of disease.”

Since this study clearly indicates that knee osteoarthritis targets cartilage behind the knee cap it is time to change how doctors manage and treat the knee joint.

One Conservative Knee Treatment Option May Be…

Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program™ is a possible knee treatment in Dallas ;  an option for those suffering from knee osteoarthritis (in the patellofemoral joint or the tibiofemoral joint) and want to avoid knee surgery, knee injections, and pain pills.  Dr. Alexandra Schnee, D.C. practices in Irving, Texas a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas at the Atlas Medical Center.  To receive information about her cold laser knee treatment program visit

Dr. Alexandra K. Schnee, D.C. – The Cold Laser Knee Doctor for the Non-Surgical Treatment of Knee Pain for the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Area.  “ Dr. Schnee’s Cold Laser Knee Program™ has been helping patients with knee pain relief without knee surgery or knee injections since 2001.”

Chondromalacia Patella, Study Shows Knee Osteoarthritis Targets Knee Cap

Explanation of chondromalacia patella knee pain and study that indicates its more prevalent then intitially thought. Knee treatment in Dallas-Fort Worth available to ease pain.

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