Chondomalacia Patella Specialist in New Jersey

Chondromalacia patella, or “Runner’s Knee”, is a general term that indicates that damage as occurred to the cartilage behind the kneecap. This cartilage located under the kneecap is a natural shock absorber, but can become damaged over time through overuse or injury. A more common term for chondromalacia patella is patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Causes of Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia occurs when your kneecap is no longer positioned properly over the knee joint. When improperly aligned, bending movements will cause the underside of the kneecap to pass over the femur or thigh bone, instead of the cartilage that should be absorbing the movement. Many times, this condition is caused by weak hamstring and quadriceps muscles, which help support the knee during bending motions, as well as a muscle imbalance between inner and outer thigh muscles. Since Chondromalacia is more commonly known as Runner’s Knee, it’s no surprise that repeated stress to the knee joint from an activity like running can also cause the condition to worsen.

Symptoms of Chondromalacia Patella

Common symptoms of Chondromalacia include a substantial pain in the knee region that can be paired with swelling. Feelings of grinding or cracking, or an audible popping sound while bending or extending the knee can also indicate the presence of chondromalacia within the patella. Young adults and adolescents are at a high risk for this injury, since their bones and muscles are rapidly developing, which could cause imbalances within the leg muscles, causing a misalignment of the knee cap. Those who have “flat feet” or walk/run with a heel strike are more prone to chondromalacia, since their gait will place more stress on the knee than someone who utilizes the ball of their foot and engages major muscle grounds throughout the legs.

Treatment for Chondromalacia Patella in New Jersey

The main goal of treatment for chondromalacia is to reduce the pressure on the kneecap. Initially following the onset of injury or pain, rest, stabilization, and an ice regiment will help any damaged cartilage in the knee repair itself over time. Taking an anti-inflammatory may also help if there is swelling and tenderness present. Physical therapy may be recommended in order to strengthen the muscles that support the knee, like the quadriceps, hamstring, adductors, and abductors. In more severe cases, where cartilage damage needs to be addressed, arthroscopic surgery may be needed to determine what is causing the knee misalignment.

Constant pain in your knee can severely slow you down and limit your day to day life. The staff at NJOI is here to help you determine the cause of that pain, and place you on a treatment plan to get rid of that pain for good! NJOI’s 6 locations throughout Northern and Central New Jersey allow patients from all over the state to come visit our industry leading practice for orthopedic treatments. Our offices are located in Wayne, Butler, Morristown, Bridgewater, and Clifton. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 973-273-3431.

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Meet The Team

Vincent K. McInerney, M.D.


Founding member, Vincent K. McInerney, M.D., graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in 1977 with honors as one of the top medical students in his class.

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Anthony Festa, M.D.


Dr. Anthony Festa is an orthopaedic surgeon in his seventh year of practice at the New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute.

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Anthony J. Scillia, M.D.


Anthony J. Scillia M.D. is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty certification in sports medicine.

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Robert M. Palacios, M.D.


Dr. Robert Palacios is board-certified and fellowship trained, and has been specializing in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine for over two decades.

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Craig Wright, M.D.


Craig Wright, MD joins New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute by way of Totowa, NJ where he was born and raised.

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John Callaghan, M.D.


John Callaghan, M.D. is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma specialist. His expertise encompasses the treatment of acute traumatic injuries.

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Other Locations

Wayne Office

504 Valley Rd. Ste 200 Wayne, NJ 07470

Butler Office

45 Carey Ave. Butler, NJ 07405

Morristown Office

111 Madison Ave. Ste 400 Morristown, NJ 07962

Bridgewater Office

720 Rte. 202-206 Bridgewater, NJ 08807

West-Milford Office

1900 Union Valley Rd Hewitt, NJ 07421