Treatment of Chondromalacia Patella
The patella, or kneecap, is covered on its back side with the thickest layer of articular cartilage of all the joints in the body. Chondromalacia patellae occurs when this cartilage deteriorates or erodes. An abnormal alignment between the patellae and the femur can result, which leads to a clicking or crunching in the joint when it is fully extended. Chondromalacia patellae affects one out of every 5,000 people.
How does chondromalacia patellae develop?
Although chondromalacia patellae usually results from overuse or trauma to this area, it may also occur spontaneously. If the patella is fractured, pain may persist after the fracture heals. The patellofemoral joint, where the knee cap joins the femur, absorbs a significant amount of force during a variety of activities ranging from walking to climbing stairs to squatting. Sports such as running and wrestling may lead to excessive stress as well as injury in this area.
What are the symptoms of chondromalacia patellae?
Symptoms of chondromalacia patellae are straightforward – knee tenderness and pain, felt most intensely when squatting or going up stairs, as well as a grinding feeling when the knee is extended.
The athlete or any knee pain patient must realize that with each procedure and each shaving or cutting of tissue, NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) prescription, or cortisone injection, the risk of developing long-term arthritis is greatly increased. The key to keeping the knee strong is to stimulate the area to heal, not to cover up the pain with a cortisone shot or NSAID therapy. Even worse is to eliminate the painful area by shaving, cutting, or removing tissue. This just delays the pain for a few years until the remaining tissue becomes degenerated. The best approach is to stimulate the area to heal and regenerate articular cartilage. The way we do that at Caring Medical is with Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy to treat painful knee conditions. We have a tremendous amount of experience and high Prolotherapy success rate treating knee pain.
Traditional Medicine does not often work for the long term
Since chondromalacia patellae causes the kneecap to scrape the leg bones when the knee is moved, traditional treatment usually involves leg extensions and stretching exercises to help strengthen the thigh muscle so the patellae, or kneecap, tracks better on the femur. The problem with this approach is that it does not do anything to repair the deteriorated cartilage in the patellae and, thus, does not alleviate the chronic pain that people with this condition experience.
Another standard practice of traditional medicine is to inject steroids into the knee, or to prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. However, in the long run, these treatments do more damage than good. Cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit, but both result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration.
Patients and athletes with patellofemoral syndrome pain often succumb to surgical procedures, even drastic ones. A good example of drastic surgery is the recommendation to surgically remove the patella in order to remove the pain. This sometimes does relieve the pain, but at a significant cost to the body. The strength to extend the knee is reduced by about 30 percent, and the force exerted in the knee is increased. There are a host of other risks associated with surgery. We have published research on patients treated at Caring Medical as an alternative to surgery, available at AboutProlotherapy.com. In addition, we have published other research demonstrating a high Prolotherapy success rate when using Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy injections as a non surgical knee treatment, and for cases of cartilage regeneration.
Comprehensively treating Chondromalacia Patellae with Prolotherapy
We feel that it is a better approach to stimulate cartilage repair with Prolotherapy and herbal supplements. Chronic pain is most commonly due to tendon and ligament weakness or cartilage deterioration, as is the case in chondromalacia patellae. The safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage is Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy injections 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 injections for chondromalacia involve intra-articular (inside) injections as well as injections on the outside of the knee, stimulating the growth of many musculoskeletal structures around the patella. Hence, the knee gets stronger and the pain of chondromalacia, or patellofemoral syndrome, is relieved.