Patellar Femoral Pain (aka: Chondromalacia Patella or Knee Cap Pain)

By Mark W. Gesell, MD, FACS


Patellar Femoral Pain is a very common source of knee pain.  The pain is located in the front of the knee under the kneecap.  Causes of this pain include a fall onto the knee, a sporting injury, but often times is not caused by an injury at all.  The pain is worse with kneeling, squatting, going up and down stairs and prolonged periods of sitting, as in a long car ride.  Pain is usually caused by an irritation or damage to the cartilage underneath the knee cap.  This condition usually improves with rest, gentle strengthening of the leg muscles and, occasionally, a cortisone injection.  Surgery is rarely indicated to help improve the pain.  If knee pain persists for 4-6 weeks, a consultation by an orthopaedic surgeon is recommended.