Chondromalacia patellae literally means "soft cartilage under the kneecap"; it is the technical term for a painful knee condition that causes irritated cartilage under the knee and a soft or deformed patella. This condition is also known as "runner's knee" and occurs mostly in young athletes, but it is also seen frequently in older adults with arthritis -- anyone can experience a knee injury. The resulting pain is the result of the femur and patella rubbing together.
Risk factors for developing Chondromalacia patella include partaking in activities that involve abnormal knee cap positioning, weakness, or tightness of muscles around the knee, and excessive activity or sports involving joints in the knees. An imbalance in the muscles on the outside and inside of the thigh or trauma to the knee and surrounding areas can also pull the kneecap out of alignment.
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