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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Chondromalacia
March 2001

Q. Can a surgical procedure like shaving bone after removing pica or plica cause chondromalasia? Or can anything during a surgical procedure cause chondromalacia?

A. Chondromalacia (also called chondromalacia patella) is not caused by surgery or anything related to a surgical procedure. Instead, it is caused by an imbalance of the muscles around the knee or a prolonged twisting of the lower leg. This imbalance or twisting causes a wearing out of the cartilage underneath the kneecap (patella), which results in discomfort.

Chondromalacia patella can oftentimes be treated by decreasing or eliminating the exercise that is causing the problem (such as running down hills), as well as quadriceps strengthening exercises.

More can be learned about chondromalacia patella at: http://www.runnersworld.com/injuries/chondrom.html

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