Dr. Uppal is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is one of a few physicians in Nevada who has earned his Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine from The American Board of Medical Specialties. He is also an active member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.
What is Chondromalacia?
Also known as “runner’s knee”, Chondromalacia refers to the softening and breakdown of the lining cartilage of the knee. The lining cartilage of the knee is crucial to cushion and protection of the knee. When the cartilage starts to break down, this represents an early stage of arthritis. It may be caused by trauma, overuse, or malalignment. Many times the exact reason people develop this condition is unknown, and genetic factors may play a role.
- Pain at the top of the knee
- Pain is usually dull/aching
- Muscle weakness
- Pain worsens with squatting, stairs, and prolonged sitting
- Tender kneecap
- Clicking or grinding of the knee when it is bent or straightened
Treatment for Chondromalacia
- Anti-inflammatory Medication
- Activity modification
- Physical Therapy
- Knee Brace
- Steroid Injection
Conservative treatment is similar to that for patellar malalignment. This treatment usually includes rest from the aggravating activity, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and a rehabilitation program. Realigning the way the patella tracts is critical. This encompasses stretching the tight areas and strengthening the weak areas. If swelling or “fluid on the knee” develops, removing the fluid and injecting a steroid into the joint is helpful. Newer injections that provide a lubricant to the joint are also available.
If conservative treatment fails to decrease symptoms, surgery may be indicated. This usually involves an arthroscopic surgery to remove loose cartilage and smooth the undersurface of the kneecap. While this does not put normal cartilage back into the damaged areas, it can be quite helpful in providing pain relief and better function for many years. Recovery from surgery usually takes 6-8 weeks and requires a dedicated rehabilitation program.
Services the Reno Orthopedic Center Offers
To help with Chondromalacia you can visit the Reno Orthopedic Center. Physical therapy is offered at each ROC location that can help to reduce or even eliminate pain. In the case that the injury is too severe, surgery can be performed at the ROC. These services are offered in Reno, Sparks, Galena, North Valley’s, and Carson.