Joining up, advice appreciated


Hi, i am 17 and currently contemplating joining up after i have completed my college course in engineering, and the REME is taking my interest the most. I play a lot of sports and class myself as physically fit, but i have a knee condition known in the medical world as Chondromalacia which is basically a thinning and softening of the cartilage and it leads to my knee popping and locking every so often and also it can become irritated when walking up stairs or running for prolonged periods of time.

My question is will this affect my entry into the armed forces when it comes to my medical test?

TIA for answers

My advice is to get it properly sorted before you enlist - otherwise the consequences could be pretty dire and a waste of your (&everybody else's) time:

What is the treatment for chondromalacia?
The treatment of chondromalacia remains controversial, but most individuals can undergo effective treatment by resting the knee and adhering to a proper physical therapy program. Allowing the inflammation of chondromalacia to settle is the first step of treatment. Avoiding painful activities that irritate the knee for several weeks, followed by a gradual return to activity is important. In this time, cross-training activities, such as swimming, can allow an athlete to maintain their fitness while resting the knee. The next step in treatment is a physical therapy program that should emphasize strengthening and flexibility of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication is also helpful to minimize the pain associated with chondromalacia. Treatment with surgery is declining in popularity for two reasons: good outcomes without surgery, and the small number of patients who actually benefit from surgical treatment.

Is surgery necessary for chondromalacia?
Sometimes chondromalacia is not cured by conservative therapy, and it may be determined that surgery is needed for definitive treatment. By looking into the knee with an arthroscope, the surgeon can assess the damage done to the cartilage. He or she can also assess the mechanics of the joint to ascertain if there is an anatomic misalignment that could be corrected.

One common misalignment is due to abnormal tracking of the patella (tracking is simply the movement of the patella as the knee moves) caused by tight tissue on the outside (lateral) of the kneecap. For this problem, a procedure known as a lateral release can be performed. The lateral release involves cutting the tight lateral ligaments to allow for normal position and tracking of the patella. If this is not sufficient to correct the misalignment there is more extensive surgery that can be performed.

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