Investigation of the Relationship between Anterior Knee Pain and Chondromalacia Patellae and Patellofemoral Malalignment

Eurasian J Med. 2018 Feb;50(1):28-33. doi: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2018.17277. Epub 2018 Feb 1.


Objective: The study aimed to investigate whether there is any association of anterior knee pain and knee function with chondromalacia stage and patellofemoral alignment in patients with anterior knee pain for over a month and with chondromalacia patellae (CMP) detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Materials and methods: We reviewed the medical records of 38 patients who underwent a knee MRI examination and were diagnosed with chondromalacia based on the MRI. Knee MRI images were evaluated by a radiologist for chondromalacia staging. Patients were divided into two groups as early stage (stage 1-2) and advanced stage (stage 3-4) chondromalacia. Patients' demographical data (age, sex, and occupation), clinical features, physical examination findings and patellofemoral pain severity scale, kujala patellofemoral scoring system, and functional index questionnaire scores were obtained from their medical records. Trochlear sulcus angle, sulcus depth, lateral patellofemoral angle, patellar translation, and Insall-Salvati index were measured using the MRI images.

Results: The mean patient age was higher in the advanced stage CMP group compared to the early stage CMP group (p=0.038). There was no statistically significant difference regarding other demographical data (p>0.05). MRI measurement parameters did not show difference between the groups (p>0.05). Patients in the advanced stage CMP group had higher patellofemoral pain severity score, lower kujala patellofemoral score, and lower functional index questionnaire score compared to the early stage CMP group. The differences were statistically significant (p=0.008, p=0.012, and p=0.026, respectively).

Conclusion: As chondromalacia stage advances, the symptom severity worsens and knee functions decline; however, MRI measurements do not show difference between early and advanced stage CMP patients.

Keywords: Anterior knee pain; chondromalacia patellae; kujala; patellofemoral alignment.