The cartilage under the kneecap is a natural shock absorber. Chondromalacia patellae may develop when the knee is overused or injured.
The most common symptom is knee pain that worsens when walking up or down stairs. Kneeling, squatting, or sitting cross-legged also may hurt.
It's usually treated with rest, pain relievers, and physical therapy. If these treatments don't work, surgery may be needed.
Last Updated May 24, 2018