This disease is also known as softening of the cartilage of your knee cap or “anterior knee pain”. This is a big medical word for a condition where the shiny cartilage surface of your patella (knee cap) is softened due to many factors including abnormal pressure across the joint surface or hormonal changes in your body.
This pain is usually located over the front of your knee and is described as a deep aching pain. It is sometimes associated with swelling and is usually worse when your knee is bent for long periods of time such sitting in a car or bus. The pain is also worse with such activities as running, biking, squatting, kneeling or stair climbing (either up or down stairs).It is sometimes associated with mild or moderate swelling of the knee and some people report a grinding feeling in their kneecap. It is more common in younger females especially after a growth spurt where the knee must carry more weight.
Many times this problem can be due to muscular imbalance of the quadriceps muscle whereby the outer quadriceps is stronger than the inner quadriceps muscle and causes the knee cap to track up the thigh incorrectly. This cause irritation and inflammation on the undersurface of the knee cap and ultimately cartilage degeneration. It is usually pretty simple to diagnose the problem, but the key is to look at the feet first!