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Does Chondromalacia Patella Go Away?

Various diseased conditions can give us tough times in life, and one of those is the condition of Chondromalacia patella. It is also referred to as anterior knee pain syndrome and affects the cartilage underside of the kneecap or patella. Now, “does chondromalacia patella go away?” Let us read further and explore it.

Does Chondromalacia Patella Go Away?

Yes, chondromalacia patella does go away. It can be treated by various means which we will be discussing in the later sections.

Chondromalacia patella is a diseased condition that affects the cartilage on the patella or the undersurface of the kneecap that causes it to deteriorate and soften.(1)

When the knee and femur or the thigh bone rub together, pain is felt. The condition is also known as runner’s knee or anterior knee pain syndrome.

It affects women and adolescent females quite often.(2) Individuals having chondromalacia patella and suffering from related knee pain, usually make a complete recovery. In some cases, the recovery might be fast and Chondromalacia patella might go away in a month, while in other cases it might take years to go away or get fully recovered. Many long-term recoveries are often seen in teenagers since their bones are still growing. Once adulthood is reached the symptoms tend to disappear.

Ways To Treat Chondromalacia Patella:

Chondromalacia patella rarely requires long-term treatment. Still, there are cases where strict treatments might be essential. Below we will be taking a look at some of the treatment methods for chondromalacia patella.

  1. OTC Medications:

    • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications: NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen can be useful in getting you relief from the pain.
    • Topical Pain Medication: These medications include creams that can be applied to the skin to bring relief from soft tissue pain.
    • OTC Medications: Apart from the above OTC medications, prescription pain relievers can also be used.
  2. CAM Therapies:

    CAM therapy or Complementary and Alternative medicines can be quite useful in getting rid of the pain associated with chondromalacia patella. These therapies include physical therapy, prolotherapy and acupuncture. Depending on the treatment plan that has been prescribed by your doctor, these therapies might be considered complementary or alternative therapies.

    • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is included in the treatment plan for chondromalacia. This therapy will help in improving the strength in the knee and for tightening the muscles.
    • Acupuncture: Acupuncture can provide pain relief and also help in reducing swelling associated with chondromalacia patella. In certain cases, this therapy might be more effective than NSAIDs.
    • Prolotherapy: This is an injection-based CAM therapy that is beneficial in treating musculoskeletal pain. With this, a natural healing response in the affected joints or soft tissues is stimulated.

    These injections contain dextrose, glycerine, or phenol to increase inflammation temporarily.(3)

  3. Surgical Treatments:

    You might require a surgry in case you have a focal area of cartilage damage beneath your patella. Arthroscopic surgery and a lateral release are two major surgical procedures used here.

    • Arthroscopic Surgery: In this type of surgery, a small camera is inserted into the affected joint through a small incision so that the surgeon views the inside of the knee while conducting the surgery.
    • Lateral Release: This is generally done along with a combination of arthroscopic and open techniques. This is done to address the condition of people where the patella has been misaligned. Here, some of the tight ligaments are cut by pulling the patella to release tension and scope proper movement and correct position.


Chondromalacia patella can be treated and most people with the condition make a complete recovery. We also know about various ways to manage or treat the chondromalacia patella. If you have been experiencing symptoms that do not go away even after taking OTC pain killers or trying ice packs, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 24, 2022

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