I have chondromalacia on my kneecap. Do i need an operation?

Paloma H., 32 years old, makes the following query:

“I have been practicing spinning for several years, and that makes me feel  well. A few months ago I did several sessions in a row, with a lot of intensity, and after a few days my knee began to hurt, so I had to leave the gym. I have an MRI done, and the report says that I have chondromalacia on the kneecap. Do I need an operation?”.

In a strict meaning, chondromalacia is just  a softening of the articular cartilage, and can only be diagnosed by palpation, in an  open or arthroscopic surgery. It has no clinical meaning. However, it is common to refer to chondromalacia in a broader sense, including cartilage lesions of different degrees, and even identifying it with patellar pain. In your case,  we would say that you have an anterior knee pain, patellofemoral pain or patellofemoral syndrome. Most probably the  cause is an overload of the patellar joint, and in most cases the treatment is conservative, with medication, modification of physical activity and specific physiotherapy.

At the Clínica Adler we are specialists  in knee pathology, including, of course, patellar pain. We make a personalized diagnosis of each patient, initiating the conservative treatment, which sometimes includes infiltration of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). And when the  indication is a surgical treatment, which rarely occurs, we perform the precise treatment, that may include realignment of the extensor mechanism or treatment of cartilage injuries.