Patellofemoral syndrome is a common injury that will interfere with the activities of people in their 70’s or athletes in high school. Chondromalacia patella is another name for this syndrome. This condition is very common in runners, but can be common in tennis players, football players, or even avid walkers. The causes and symptoms will be discussed in this article.
The patella (knee cap) is attached to the quadricep muscles of the thigh and slides along the femur in a groove on the bone. When the forces exerted on the patella from the muscles are uneven the patella slides along the border of the groove instead of properly in the middle. This is often caused by the vastus medialis obliquus muscle becoming too weak and the patella is pulled towards the outside of the leg. When the patella grinds on the side of the groove it can lead to inflammation and pain in the knee. A frequent cause is biomechanical problems such as overpronation of the knee, or internal rotation of the knee while standing up straight.