The patella is also known as the kneecap. When there is a problem with this part of the knee it manifests as pain in the front of the knee after strong exertion of the knee, by running, skiing, or climbing stairs. Usually it hurts more to climb up stairs than to walk flat. This may be due to erosion of the cartilage on the under side of the patella, poor tracking of the patella in its groove on the front of the knee, or an inflamed tendon on the lower edge of the patella.
The patella is covered on its back side with the thickest layer of articular cartilage of all the joints in the body. Erosion of this cartilage is called chondromalacia patellae. On x-ray it is seen as a decrease in the amount of cartilage underneath the kneecap. It may be caused by trauma or occur spontaneously. If the patella is fractured, pain may still persist after the fracture heals.
Prolotherapy helps chondromalacia patellae or patellar tracking problems because the pain-producing structure is generally the patellar tendon or the musculoskeletal support around the patella. Prolotherapy for chondromalacia involves intra-articular (inside) injections as well as injections on the outside of the knee, stimulating the growth of many musculoskeletal structures around the patella. It is for this reason the knee gets stronger and the pain of chondromalacia is relieved.