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Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

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Old 07-11-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 65
macs4life06 HB User
Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

I feel like I am falling apart. This hasn't been a good year for me health wise. My family doctor recently diagnosed me with chondromalacia patella or patella femoral pain syndrome.

I have looked it up to try & get more info, but so far all that I've read is very discouraging. The pain started last fall, and in Jan I had an MRI. The results were normal. I've tried the RICE method and even done isometric exercises to strengthen my quads and other leg muscles. That actually made my pain a lot worse!!

I don't know what to do. I saw my family doctor again & he prescribed physical therapy. However, my insurance only covers pt after an accident or after a surgery. So, I would have to pay out of pocket. Anyone have any experience with physical therapy for this condition? Did it help? How about glucosamine?


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Old 07-12-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: OH
Posts: 306
ozfan79 HB Userozfan79 HB Userozfan79 HB User
Re: Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

I have this condition as well. Mine started in January of 2006. My kneecap also slips out of place. I tried formal p.t. for a total of six months. It did not help me. I have been told that the cartilage under my kneecap is damaged. I am going back to my orthopedic surgeon on July 23. I am hoping that he will consider doing surgery now because my knee really hurts. My kneecap slipped out in March and I fell. When I fell, I broke my hand, and it took 14 weeks before it healed. I want my knee fixed so that I can hopefully prevent that from happening again.

I would suggest seeing an orthopedist if you haven't seen one already. I have not tried glucosamine.

Please keep me updated. -ozfan

Old 07-12-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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leeann123456 HB User
Re: Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

I have the exact same thing on BOTH knees. After going through over a possibly 2 months of physio it might have been, the results NOT so good. my left knee is considerably worse than my right. While i was doing physio it started to actually cause me more pain than helping. my left knee cap started to slip and my right knee was starting to crack and started to have pain. So i switched orthopedic surgeons, seen as i tired physio and it made it worse he wanted up to date xrays to make sure my legs weren't bowed because he thought they might have been, they came up fine so it was the only option surgery in 6 weeks. So im about a month and a few weeks post-op. I'm having mixed feelings about it only because I'd have more of a success rate in my right knee than my left because of the fact my left knee cap slips.

he said the bone has something wrong with it and if this doesn't correct it ill have to have some kind of bone surgery. Im not exactly sure what is involved with that.
But i know others who have had it and have had an 85% success rate and fixed there problem completely. I have a 75% chance of full recovery.
I currently have doubts that this will fix my left but i feel it will definitely fix my right when i get it done.

If i after reading things about the fact about its not RIGHT for everyone choose not to go through with it i think i would kick myself. Other than the fact i know im running a risk for this not to work. the fact is theres still high success rates. Im in ALOT less pain with it i find it just pops still the odd time which makes me a little nervous for it to be doing it again but it could be from my muscles still being weak.

I would get it checked out with an ortho and then see if they'll fix it. Physio can help but from what i read the longer its left with this problem the harder it is to put back. I think it all depends on the knee and person.

Old 07-12-2008, 06:44 PM   #4
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macs4life06 HB User
Re: Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

I'm glad to find others who understand. It sounds like physical therapy doesn't help much in some people. I am rather doubtful it will do much for me as I tried very simple isometric quad exercises and that made the pain so much worse!

I am going to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic dr, because it sounds like this is too complex for a family doctor. All he could tell me was the MRI was normal- which I find so frustrating because the pain is so severe that I know something is really wrong!

Yesterday I had to climb a bunch of stairs. Later that evening out of nowhere my left knee (my good knee) starting hurting like crazy. I put a hot water bottle on it- apparently not a good move. It got so bad that it woke me up & I could barely walk to the kitchen to get some Advil! Just the bending from walking was so painful & I could put no weight on it. Icing helped a lot & I'm able to walk okay today.

I think I'm going to try glucosamine. Is this condition irreversible??

Old 07-12-2008, 09:43 PM   #5
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leeann123456 HB User
Re: Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

Best thing to us is ICE. Ya see i ran into troubles with my family doctor we thought meniscus until i got my mri report and it said i had fluid in my knee joint lateral patella tracking narrowing of some bone and fanning of the proximal insertion of the PCL STILL dont know what the HECK that means! But oh well. My first ortho WORST place to go over. I was in terrible pain but he literally did NOT seem to care. It was like oh well there's nothing wrong here but weak muscles. Which when he told me this was like jaw to the ground moment like you can NOT tell me i have ALL this pain for weak muscles. My leg muscle is insane so i didn't understand NOR would i agree to what was telling me and i had good right to not listen cause look where i am now! a better place!

Its fixable! the longer its out of where it should be the harder it is to put back. Meaning physio therapy will most likely fail if its been out for a long time. Meaning surgery would most likely fix it. I do believe it will fix my right knee because it hasn't had a chance to get to where my left knee is. My surgeon said my problem is genetic. So it wouldn't have corrected through physio. So my right knee will continue to become exactly what my left was doing.
Between genetics and sports i killed them!

But DONT think you won't get relief. I read on hear before someone had it before and THEY were sooo glad it fixed there problem. But then something happened to them but i don't believe it had to do with the knee when they had troubles again.

Im learning i kind of have to be like alright! Im going to get better, physio two times a week you'll get there me, because im doubtful about my left knee just because of where it was before i had surgery. But don't be!!!
really its not worth worrying about! they can only figure how much of a %chance you have of full recover they can't tell you in stone that oh this wont work unless its tried. You have to believe your going to recover and your going to get better!

I focus on maybe one day being able to play soccer without pain and able to run without my knees giving out!! They can fix it and don't doubt it from where i was before surgery to wear i am now, i have less pain! BY far less pain. my knee feels SO much better compared to my right, it LOOKS normal now and i only have the popping for a certain thing i do in physio that will aggrivate it, but honestly i can't complain its my mind that keeps making me feel discouraged like this is a waste of time but i dont know that, you have a greater chance of recover than not recovering!

SO all i can say is think positively that one day you'll be pain free and not missing those days of the pain and the miserable day!

Old 07-30-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Tralynn222 HB User
Re: Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

Hi all. I was diagnosed yesterday with this by my orthopedic. He injected both of my knees with cortisone and they feel almost pain free today. However, I know it will be short lived.

He wants me to go to p/t 3x a week to strenghthen the muscles around my knees but my copay is $60 and I can't afford that. I will try to strenghthen them on my own before the pain returns.

As far as taking glucosamine, I've taken it for a year now and have still always had pain. My mother who takes it though swears by it and it has helped her greatly with the arthritis in her knees.

Old 07-30-2008, 09:19 AM   #7
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forevergimpy HB User
Re: Chondromalacia Patella/Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome

Do you have any access to a pool or other no impact exercise? I've been dealing with this (in both knees) for years now. At first I was very skeptical that having my leg stronger would change how my knee felt, but boy it is true!! The stronger my leg muscles are, the less my knee needs to work to stay stable. Maybe you could do one round of PT and get some exercises to continue at home? I will say I seriously have to limit stairs (not easy in a townhouse) and leg extension activities or squats because it puts too much strain on my knees.
As for cleaning out the damaged cartilage due to this, it was serioulsy the easiest of my 5 surgeries. I was actually teaching 4 days later!!
Good luck!

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