KNEEtalk

The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: crazymom on March 16, 2006, 03:48:51 AM

Title: Chondromalacia Grade 3 & 4 Concerns
Post by: crazymom on March 16, 2006, 03:48:51 AM
I am a 35 year old female.  In 2003 I was diagnosed on the right knee with grade 3 chondromalacia in the medial and lateral facets with chondral fissuring identified. Mild lateral patellar tilt.  No osteoarthropathy.  And on the left knee with scant amount of physiologic knee joint fluid.  Grade 4 chondromalacia in the patellofemoral and medial compartments with osteochondral erosions along the medial and leteral patella facets inferiorly and along the lateral femoral articulating surface in the medial compartment.  Mild lateral patellar tilt.  No osteoarthropathy.  (sorry about the wordiness - copied it directly from the diagnosis).  The diagnosis was done by MRI.

I have knee pain when I put pressure on my knees and sometimes after running.  Been using a brace on right knee while running.  Noticed the top of the right knee hurts more after running.  Started running 2 weeks ago after being dormant for 6 years to have 3 children.  Just started taking Glucosemine Chondroitin.  In a healthy weight range, but about 20-30 pounds over what my body is used to.  Knees do creak and grind and sometimes lock up.

What do I get to look forward to?  Will I eventually have to have surgery? Dr told me no running, but I read somewhere else moderate running was OK.  I am convinced to get orthopedics in shoes - will do soon.  I am thoroughly confused and reading some of the posts made me very concerned that I won't be able to walk when I get older.  Can someone help explain my diagnosis?
Title: Re: Chondromalacia Grade 3 & 4 Concerns
Post by: Janet on March 19, 2006, 07:42:50 PM
Chondromalacia actually means a thinning of the articular cartilege. This is the tough cartilege that coves the ends of the bones, not the meniscus (which is what most people think of when they say "cartilege"). Chondromalacia is graded in four steps, with I being mild (showing some softening) and IV being the worst before getting right to bone on bone. There is no way to "cure" the defects, but you can hope to stop the degeneration.

The question is why do you have chondromalacia? It isn't really a diagnosis in itself. In fact, different doctors use it to mean different things. If I were you, I'd try to get the OS to give you more details about your condition. You won't be able to stop the degeneration unless you know what is causing it in the first place. If he brushes off your questions, I would get a second opinion from a knee specialiast, preferably one who specializes in sports medicine.

As for running, I wouldn't do it if it causes pain. Have you been to PT? Once your OS gives you the reasons for the chondro, he should send you to PT to learn what to do to help overcome the pain and problems it causes.

Janet