A knee disorder with characteristics similar to those of chondromalacia patellae. Both conditions are painful and cause a cracking sound (crepitation) in the knees. However, chondromalacia patellae is due to deterioration of the articular cartilage. Patellofemoral malalignment is due to an abnormal angle of pull of the quadriceps tendon. This tendon passes over the kneecap to attach the quadriceps (the large group of four muscles at the front of the thigh) onto the lower leg. The abnormal angle of pull of the tendons imposes unusual strains on the bones of the knee joint, pulling them out of alignment. Treatment includes rest and the application of heat. Special leg exercises are performed to restore muscle balance and realign the bones of the knee joint. If the condition persists, surgical realignment is sometimes necessary. See also knee.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.