Chondromalacia and Cartilage damage
Diagnosis and Treatment for Knee Pain
Symptoms of Chondromalacia
Chondromalacia in the knee presents different symptoms depending on the degree of injury. Common symptoms include:
- Catching, locking, giving-way
- Inability to fully straighten or bend knee
- Knee pain
A patient may have one symptom or all of them. And it’s quite common for meniscus or cartilage injury symptoms to vary from day to day. Before explaining the treatments available for these knee problems, it’s important to understand the different kinds of cartilage found in the knee.
Types of Cartilage
in the Knee
Both types of cartilage protect the knee joint. With knee injuries, normal aging, or rheumatologic diseases, the cartilage can be worn away, leaving bone on bone within the joint, which contributes to knee pain.
Diagnosing the Cause of Knee Pain
During your office visit, Dr. Goradia will ask about your knee pain, other symptoms, and any injuries that occurred. He will then carefully examine your knee for a variety of different conditions.
In most cases these two steps can provide the surgeon with a very good idea of your diagnosis. X-rays will also be performed. Although chondromalacia and meniscus tears are not visible on x-rays, the x-ray can provide important information regarding arthritis, fractures, and osteochondral defects. If there is severe damage (i.e. arthritis), the x-rays will show it.
If you don’t respond to initial non-operative treatment or if you have a recent injury that results in a large amount of swelling, an MRI can be ordered. An MRI can identify meniscus tears and cartilage damage but only arthroscopy can accurately determine the extent of damage and simultaneously provide treatment.