Chondromalacia Patella


Hello chaps,

Just been told by a private osteopath that I have the above. Of all the things it can be due to, it's a weak Vastus Medialis that's affecting the tracking of my kneecap. It's also known as Runner's knee, in case someone didn't know.

Obviously I understand that this isn't exactly what I need for a career in the army.

This isn't going to beat me, I'm doing all I can to sort it.

I just want to know if anyone else has had trouble with it, and their experiences. I've had two independent opinions, from the osteopath and a sports physio that I trust, that I can have the muscle sorted in a month or less.

Generally, would you just share any relevant information or experiences with me please?

Many thanks!

I'm sorry, I thought this thread was about that Indian Bird from the Big Brother house..

How remiss of me!

On a serious note, Physio should sort it. (It worked for me) Mine was caused by thigh muscle pulling the kneecap slightly off line following a rugby injury. It's a simple bio mechanical issue that is easily sorted if you follow the regime.

Of course I'm now in a wheelchair but thats down to NAPS.


The_Cad said:
I'm sorry, I thought this thread was about that Indian Bird from the Big Brother house..

How remiss of me!

On a serious note, Physio should sort it. (It worked for me) Mine was caused by thigh muscle pulling the kneecap slightly off line following a rugby injury. It's a simple bio mechanical issue that is easily sorted if you follow the regime.

Of course I'm now in a wheelchair but thats down to NAPS.
Thank you, that's exactly what I wanted to hear! Can you tell me how loing it took you to sort it out?

By the way, what are the odds of it being picked up in an army medical? As long as I don't open my gob that is?
I have the same issue. (Im not in the army BTW) I am now 33 and it still gives me issues from time to time, generally whenever I start doing a lot of a particular form of exercise, eg doing a lot of cycling, or skiing, or running when I havent been doing anything like it for a while. The muscles don't seem to want to develop evenly and it takes a good deal of stretching, certain exercises and time to sort out. Just plug at it is all I do. If you do find a good 'fix' for it i would love to hear it!!

You have to fill in a medical questionaire and if you are caught lying you will be binned. Telling porkies may be acceptable for government ministers but not for soldiers!

Mine resolved quickly in around 5 weeks as it was a reaction to my original injury (Muscle wasted a fair bit and once I got muscle tone back it was fine)

If your physio is succesful (which it should be) just ensure you have a note from your doc stating that and attach it to your medical questionaire. Under no circumstances try to bluff it out as if you are caught, you will not have a leg to stand on (Pardon the pun)

What job are you interested in?
I had it when I joined the army a long time ago, although I did not know it at the time. The old bunny hops exacerbated it and I ended up in BMH Hannover and Rinteln.

After some minor surgery it was ok and until last year, I could do my CFT with no problems (over the age limit now so dont have to do it). Yep, it is annoying at times, but I dont think about it. When I joined up I passed the medical but then again a blind one-legged half-dead alcoholic could have passed in those days


But surely, if I tell the truth they'll bin me as well?

I lose either way.

I don't want to lie about anything, but I have come too far and worked far too hard to get binned now. Here's hoping I'll get it sorted and won't have to lie!

@Cad- I'm aiming for a regiment in the RAC. Not sure which specific one yet however. I'm also interested in the REME.

I'm keeping an open mind in general on it though. I just know that the army is what I want to do, and I won't give up!
Its not really for me to say. The medics examined me, they found me fit for service, I joined, the training exacerbated the problem, but some minor surgery resolved it and although it took a while to get fully fit again, my kneees still grate when I go to the gym, or climb a lot of stairs, but I can still march, still dig my garden and still carry my beer gut in a smart and soldier-like manner.
I have CP and had it for the best part of 9 years of being in the army. Contrary to my name it didn't result in me doing any less exercise (not that I did much) but it is quite a common occurrence amongst soldiers (that is from an RAMC doctor).


Had the same problem in the mid-1980s and ended up with a med discharge. As most of the other posters have pointed out, some physio and sticking to the program should do the trick. Don't buy a couple of running magazines or listen to the sales assistants at the sports shoe shop, nor anyone at the pub, then figure out your own program.

The mechanics of this require specialist analysis .... the muscles involved, and what has to work when are quite remarkable. Your vastus medialis might be strong enough, for example, but does it fire early enough? Alternatively are you running with stiff knees and hyper-extending? Lots to go wrong.

For what it's worth I've been back in the Army for almost a year (Australian Army - nowadays old bar stewards like me can join up!!!) and the knees are holding up OK. It still takes work, though.

Good luck, and let us all know how you go....


i got diagnosed with chondromalacia patella in 2003, the fault apparently lying with over-developed quadriceps pulling my kneecap slightly out of alignment. rather than exercises, i was finally prescribed specially measured clinical insoles for my shoes.

this didn't work, and they changed the diagnosis in 2004 after MRI scans and said i actually have osteoarthritis in both knees (this at age 32).

so not a happy resolution, but i don't know to this day if the CP was a red herring.


Hello chaps.

Seeing as they're isn't any real sucess stories on this site, I thought I'd make one of my own!

I've been training hard lately, following a program kindly donated by an Arrser.

I've got plenty of aches and pains, but they're the normal type. No more knee pain!

None! What I thought had been a huge problem has been effectively removed, and I'm chuffed as anything.

The main tips I can give for anyone in the position that I was in is this:

Find an osteopath. The best one you can find, and talk to him about how he plans on treating you.

Plenty of stretching. 4 times a day for 30 seconds was my lot. Quads and hamstrings mainly, but calves as well.

The Osteo massages (ooer :oops: ) your knees. It loosens the tendons and muscles in the area, making it easier for your knee to start tracking correctly again.

Rest. I had to train through my recovery, but you might not.

It need not be too expensive. I've been in treatment for about 7 weeks now, to a total of £210. The best money I've ever spent.

I've been taking glucosamine, but I'm not sure if it has done anything.

And as always, decent running shoes and no running on concrete!


I reckon I've got CP, though my GP says it's a sprained tendon and it'll go if I rest it and take NSAIDS - which is wrong because I've had it for years.

What excercies do the physiotherapists get you to do? GP won't refer me for physio, the goon, so I'm trying to find the excercies and do them myself.

Got 8 months to get it sorted before I start Winchester, so fingers crossed.


Crescent, get a new GP mate. At least a second opinion. Eight months will become six months, then in turn three months awfully quickly. It will then be too late.

Do you need a GP's referral to see a physio in the UK?

Good luck
Funnily enough I was diagnosed with this condition but the quack told me it was because my quads had shrunk after getting out. I was given straight-leg exercises to do which achieved nothing despite me beasting myself stupid. Years later I was at a physio for an unrelated injury and she said "I can sort that in a few months, your doctor has made a mistake". Unfortunately my new job has stopped me getting referred but I reckon I would trust her over my doc.


Timmypig - thanks, aye I would get a second opinion only the way the NHS works it up here, I can only get GP appointment with MY GP and not with any of the other 5 overworked GPs in the surgery - this of course all because they closed 4 surgeries in 2 years and forced everyone in the (quite big) town to be split between just 2, lucky to get an appointment AT ALL.

I think I can get physio without a GP referral, however that would involve going private and I can't really afford it at the moment.
Look up your local physio on the NHS website; mine-in Glasgow- has posters saying you can refer yourself. Private physio is about £40 per session, just to give you a ballpark figure.


It turns out that as the name suggests, my kneecap wasn't tracking properly due to an imbalance of the quadricep muscles in my leg.

(note: I am no anatomist!)

I was told to perform exercises that strengthened the Vastus Medialis. A muscle on the inside of each leg.

The new, strengthened muscle helped pull the kneecap back into proper alignment. I actually have lumps on my legs now, I've had to develop these muscles so much.

The osteopath's massage of the surrounding very tight tendons and muscles also helped the kneecap to start tracking properly again. The patella tendon amongst others received a lot of treatment.

I can't emphasise enough the importance of stretching and rest!

I hope this helps crescent. I went to approximately 6-7 sessions with the osteopath, with each session costing £37 I believe.


Thanks :thumright:


Wow Crash - totally impressed with the anatomy pics.......


Osteopath, physio whoever GET IT SORTED, it wont go away on its own and you will end up with f****** knees after 22 in green.

Even if that means getting your hand in your pocket - if it makes you feel better work out roughly what you will earn in the army and see what £400 - £500 worth of treatment is as a percentage!

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