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Remember when you could refer to your knees as right and left instead of good knee and bad knee??

Let’s start this blog a little differently. Stand up, and sprint around the block a couple times. KIDDING. But I got your attention, didn’t I? Alright, let’s dial it back in. One of our last posts was all about Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. PFPS is a broad term that encompasses many different signs and symptoms. For this specific post, we will be talking about a specific knee pain condition- Chondromalacia Patellae. That’s sort of exhausting to type out so for the purpose of this blog, let’s refer to Chondromalacia Patellae (hard to say too) as “CMP.”

Perhaps we can get you back to just knees again

What is CMP anyways?

CMP Is categorized by retropatellar (behind the kneecap) cartilage breakdown. (1)

CMP progresses as follows:

Stage 1- swelling and softening of cartilage

Stage 2- partial thickness fissuring

Stage 3- full thickness fasciculations/twitching

Stage 4- cartilage destruction with exposure of subchondral bone (bone just below

cartilage/helps to absorb shock) (2)

The remainder of causes and/or symptoms for CMP are also shared in common with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

How do we manage CMP?

If left untreated, CMP may result in premature degenerative joint disease. (3) Management of CMP begin with the minimization of aggravating factors coupled with anti-inflammatory measures. It will also include exercises for long-term correction of functional deficits. Lifestyle modification may be necessary but unlikely if treated early enough.

Foam rolling- a home care assignment you can expect if you have CMP

We are well versed in knee pain treatments in the office and are here to help. Please reach out and let us know how we can serve you and your knees!

Until next time friends, Dr. Amy


1. Kannus P, Natri A, Paakkala T, Järvinen M. An outcome study of chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome. Seven-year follow-up of patients in a randomized, controlled trial. JBJS. 1999 Mar 1;81(3):355-63.

2. Duke Orthopaedic’s. Wheeles Textbook of Orthopedics. Chondromalacia of the Patella.

3. Gold GE, McCauley TR, Gray ML, Disler DG. Special Focus Session: What’s New in Cartilage?. Radiographics. 2003 Sep;23(5):1227-42.

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