Temporarily resting the knee and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin may help relieve pain. Physical therapy, especially quadriceps strengthening and hamstring stretching, may be helpful.
Limit participation in sports or strenuous activity until the pain has gone away. Avoid activities that increase the knee pain, such as deep knee bends, until the pain improves.
If the alignment of the patella cannot be corrected with therapy, surgery may be an option. Depending on the type of misalignment, the surgery may be arthroscopic (using a camera, which allows a smaller incision) or open.
Chondromalacia patella usually improves with therapy and use of NSAIDs. For the few people who need it, surgery is successful most of the time.
The main complication is failure of treatment to relieve pain.
When surgery is necessary, surgical complications may include:
- Failure to relieve pain
- Worsening pain
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disorder.
Review Date : 5/5/2008
Reviewed By : Andrew L. Chen, MD, MS, Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, The Alpine Clinic, Littleton, NH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.