Have Knee Pain When Walking Up or Down Stairs? Learn About Chrondromalacia and Knee Pain Treatment
If you have knee pain when you walk up or down stairs, you might be suffering from chrondromalacia. Also known as patellafemoral pain syndrome, chrondromalacia often occurs without a specific traumatic event. The pain of chrondromalacia is sometimes compared to a toothache and it is often present when you stand up after sitting in a chair for a while.
Chrondromalacia of the patella is a common cause of knee pain, especially among women. While it sometimes happens following some type of traumatic event involving a hard hit to the knee, more typically, it happens over time when the kneecap becomes agitated or starts to wear out.
Knee pain treatments for those suffering from chrondromalacia does not typically involve surgery. The preferred approach for addressing patellofemoral pain is physical therapy combined with the use of shoe orthotics that provide stable support for the arches and feet.
Because the knee pain caused by chrondromalacia is often caused by body geometry that places increased pressure on the kneecap which over time leads to knee pain, the treatment focuses on altering the position of the leg to lessen the pressure on the knees.
While foot positioning is corrected by orthotics, strengthening exercises are also recommended for the muscles around the knees, especially those near the kneecap on the inner thigh.
Closed chain exercises, or exercises where a person’s foot moves in a predetermined space so that it does not shift around, is helpful. Examples of closed chain exercises include activities like bike riding, mini squats and leg presses. A trained physical therapist can provide an exercise regimen that includes a variety of closed chain exercises to help strengthen the hips, legs, and knees in order to treat the condition.
Surgery is sometimes recommended by an orthopaedic surgeon to treat chrondromalacia in order to clean the undersurface of the patella or kneecap. This type of orthopaedic surgery can be conveniently done as an outpatient procedure using an arthroscope. Knee replacement surgery may be recommended in more extreme situations when damage to the undersurface of the patella has progressed to the point where the cartilage is worn out and exposed bone is evident.
Typically if you are suffering from knee pain including chrondromalacia or an ACL injury, you can find a successful knee pain treatment by consulting your orthopaedic physician. In many cases, before considering knee surgery, there are a number of non-surgical treatment options for you to consider. Often a combination of exercises, physical therapy, and orthotics will provide effective knee pain treatment.