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Sports Medicine

Chondromalacia

07/07/2008

Question:

i have been an avid walker for almost 15 years. 1 am 46 yeasrs old. while walking on the trail a boy went into my legs with his bike. since then, i have endured two months therapy, a shot in my knee (which did not help at all) my discomfort is in the outerside of my knee. could this br chrondomalacia. i have not walked more than a mile, if that. and i am also doing water therapy. but i am still feeling pain & discomfort. thru the mri there is no tear. thanks

Answer:

If your pain is the extreme outermost part of the knee, then chondromalacia is not likely and this condition is a problem associated with chronic wear and tear rather than acute injury.  An MRI is a very good test for ruling out injury to the internal ligaments of the knee and the supporting ligaments of the inside/outside of the knee.  It also tells us if there are tears in the cartilages and rules out fracture.  Mild sprains and minimal tears however can be missed by this test.  If the pain is on the outside part of the kneecap, chondromalacia is possible, but would be more likely that the injury exacerbated a previously asymptomatic condition rather than cause it. 

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati