• Monday July 13,2020

Chondropathia patellae

Chondropathia patellae is usually a benign cartilage disease on the knee. Surgical therapies are very rarely necessary.

What is a Chondropathia patellae?

Schematic illustration of the difference between a healthy knee and Chondropathia patellae. Click to enlarge.

Chondropathia patellae is a disease of the cartilage (chondropathy) that affects the back of the kneecap (patella). If the knee is affected by the chondropathia patellae, the articular cartilage usually shows degenerative impairment.

Mainly affected by the Chondropathia patellae young women and girls. If there is a chondropathia patellae in boys, these are usually found in the life phase of puberty. In most cases, in a present Chondropathia patellae both knees of a person are affected by the disease.

Among other things, pain in the affected knee is characteristic of Chondropathia patellae, which manifests itself, for example, when the affected person gets up after prolonged sitting, descends or descends stairs, or walks downhill.


Chondropathia patellae is caused by changes in the back cartilage of the kneecap. However, such changes alone do not usually cause the pain associated with chondropathia patellae.

The typical pain of Chondropathia patellae is often when in addition to the changes in the cartilage of the knee frequent overloading of the knee (such as frequent kneeling activities) or the adjacent tendons (for example, by sudden stop movements of the knee, such as occur during downhill running ) are present.

In addition to an overload, however, other factors can cause a chondropathia patellae: such as malfunction of the ligaments on the knee joint, malpositions of the patella or impaired thigh muscles. Injuries or accidents involving one or both knees can also lead to chondropathia patellae.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

In most cases Chondropathia patellae leads to a positive course of the disease and thus no permanent damage or complications. A treatment is not necessary in any case, since the disease heals in many cases by itself. Patients suffer from severe knee pain in Chondropathia patellae.

The pain occurs especially in the area of ​​the kneecap and can considerably limit the daily life of the person affected and reduce the quality of life. Especially under stress, the pain can be very strong and thus lead to movement restrictions. In some cases, patients may need walking aids or other people's help in their lives.

Even at night, this can lead to pain that has a negative impact on the sleep quality of the person affected and thus can lead to irritability or other mental health problems or depression. However, life expectancy remains unchanged. In children, Chondropathia patellae can also lead to limitations or delay in growth and in child development, which can be corrected quickly. Other complaints usually do not occur.


In order to diagnose a chondropathia patellae, a treating specialist usually first talks to the patient in order to obtain information about the individual symptoms and their course.

As part of a physical examination can then be checked, for example, whether at the affected knee typical of the Chondropathia patellae pressure pain sets. Also, ligaments, tendons and adjacent muscles of the knee are usually tested in suspected Chondropathia patellae.

A diagnosis can be made, for example, by procedures such as x-rays, magnetic resonance tomography or, more rarely, articular mirroring. Usually the course of a Chondropathia patellae is favorable: In many cases it comes after a few weeks to an independent healing.


Complications do not occur in Chondropathia patellae in most cases. As a rule, the disease heals quickly and no medical intervention is necessary. The Chondropathia patellae causes severe pain in the knees of the patient.

These occur mainly after a stress, but can also be felt in the form of rest pain. Everyday life is severely limited by the pain, so that the patient also suffers from movement restrictions. The rest pain can also occur at night, leading to sleep disorders and increased irritability. More complaints are usually not on.

Due to the pain, however, the person affected can also suffer from mental illness and suffer from depression. The treatment of Chondropathia patellae takes place in most cases by therapies. Various exercises are performed with the patient, which alleviate the discomfort and protect the joints.

Strong loads or athletic activities must be avoided by the patient. Severe pain is treated with painkillers. Only in very serious cases an operative procedure is necessary. Even after treatment, the affected person is restricted by the Chondropathia patellae in his everyday life and must avoid stress. Further complications do not occur.

When should you go to the doctor?

Patients with knee pain and other typical signs of chondropathia patellae are advised to visit a doctor. If the cartilage disease is not treated, further complaints, such as nocturnal pain at rest, can be resolved - at the latest then a physician should be consulted. With bad postures and muscle tension is best gone to a chiropractor or orthopedist. Patients who have ever had a Chondropathia patellae, should contact the responsible doctor in case of a new complaint.

Recurrent symptoms can lead to a long-term patellar osteoarthritis and therefore must be clarified. Above all, people who regularly exercise kneeling activities or otherwise overload the tendons on the kneecap are at risk. Even with existing malfunctions of the muscles and ligaments in the knee joint as well as malformations and malpositions of the kneecap there is an increased risk of cartilage disease. Those who belong to these risk groups should have their complaints cleared up quickly. Patients who suffer from pain on the kneecap after an accident should talk to their doctor immediately.

Treatment & Therapy

In the majority of cases, chondropathia patellae can be sufficiently treated with conservative (non-surgical) treatment. The main focus of the treatment of chondropathia patellae is on physiotherapeutic (physiotherapeutic) measures, which among other things aim to strengthen the anterior thigh musculature.

In addition, doctors recommend to protect the diseased knee joint adequately with a Chondropathia patellae. This can be achieved, for example, by applying stabilizing bandages and by avoiding movements that put too much strain on the knees (such as squats).

If it comes in conjunction with a chondropathia patellae to very severe pain, it may be necessary in rare cases, an analgesic, drug treatment. This can be done with the help of tablets. In rare cases, a chondropathia patellae requires surgery.

If a chondropathia patellae has been treated successfully, it may be useful, according to experts, not to burden the affected knee over a longer period of time; For example, hobby athletes can resort to balance sports such as cycling or swimming, which protect the knee joints. In women, after suffering from Chondropathia patellae, a temporary renunciation of high heel shoes may be useful.

Outlook & Forecast

The prospect of healing is good in Chondropathia patellae. The symptoms regenerate in most patients within a short time after the relief of the knee. After a few weeks a complete remission is possible. Sequelae are not expected under normal circumstances.

The path of healing is shortened as soon as some instructions are observed. Due to the natural self-healing powers recovery is possible in many cases even without medical treatment. With a medical treatment, the healing path is shortened. In addition, the prognosis improves if the patient wears healthy footwear and observes adequate rest and close time.

The recurrence of Chondropathia patellae is possible at any time. Nevertheless, the patient can take an active role in taking precautionary measures and prevent the recurrence. With the right precautions, there is the possibility that a permanent cure will occur. It is important to have sufficient fitness, avoid overweight and a healthy lifestyle.

As soon as the person concerned optimizes his lifestyle, he usually remains cured. In rare cases, complaints may be worsened. With a continuous load of the knee or a recurrent heavy use the pain remains. This can result in muscle discomfort or malformation of the skeletal system.


To directly prevent chondropathia patellae is only possible to a very limited extent. However, the risk of suffering from chondropathia patellae can be reduced by avoiding knee overuse early on. Active athletes who already have mild knee problems are recommended as a possible precautionary measure against a chondropathia patellae, for example, to stabilize the affected joint, protect it and avoid sports with a high risk of falls.


The healing process in Chondropathia patellae can be positively influenced by a consistent aftercare. Nevertheless, the conservative therapy can be expected to have a regeneration phase of up to six months. As part of the follow-up treatment, the doctor recommends targeted physiotherapy. After a detailed instruction with a professional, the patients can perform the exercises at home. During the development phase, overloading of the knee should be avoided.

This means that intensive sports and climbing stairs are taboo for a certain period of time. Depending on the severity of the condition, the doctor prescribes anti-inflammatories. Patients may also wear knee-joint bandages to avoid false loading. In the case of electrotherapy and strengthening exercises, there may be increased complaints in the short term.

As a result, the affected should not be unsettled, but the program endure to the end. In general, the regeneration process is quite positive. This also applies to the time after an operative treatment. It is important for patients to keep their legs up as often as possible and to slow down their activities. This begins with careful walking, slow swimming and cycling. Too strong squats in sports activities and also in the household are to be avoided at the beginning.

You can do that yourself

The Chondropathia patellae is a sometimes very painful uttering disease of the cartilage of the patella. Affected are often children and young girls and women. The up to seven millimeters thick cartilage on the inside of the kneecap is supplied by the synovial fluid in the knee joint.

This requires, among other things, that the patella undergoes a certain contact pressure within certain tolerances by the muscles and the ligaments and is exposed by movements of the knee sliding movements with changing loads. Oblique loading due to incorrect posture or muscle loss of the main leg extensor, the quadriceps femoris muscle, can lead to painful damage to the knee cartilage.

In contrast to earlier when mainly rest was prescribed, a targeted gymnastics is recommended today, which can carry out the affected themselves. Great emphasis is placed on the structure of the leg muscles, especially the extensor muscles on the thigh should be able to provide the kneecap with the "right" contact pressure and to provide them with the natural knee movement through the synovium with nutrients.

This means that targeted physiotherapy and physical therapy as self-help measures are very important in order to be pain-free as soon as possible. In addition to the individually compiled movement exercises also the muscle building is of similar importance. Recommendations for absolute protection of the knee are generally not effective according to modern findings.

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