Patellofemoral chondromalacia refers to the wearing out of the cartilage on the back of the patella (kneecap).
Patients with patellofemoral chondromalacia describe pain walking up and down stairs, difficulty squatting or kneeling, or pain with prolonged sitting. Some people experience a grinding sensation behind the kneecap.
Treatment for this condition begins with activity modifications until a level of activity is reached where no pain is felt. Also, a physical therapy program is recommended that works on strengthening quadriceps, stretching the hamstring, and strengthening hip muscles. Some patients find a short course of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.) helpful with alleviating pain.