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I have been having some problems with my knees. I feel knee tenderness and pain especially after sitting for prolonged time. Also the pain worsens when I use stairs or get out of a chair. Also, I sometimes feel grating or grinding sensation when I extend my knees. I am worried. What do you think is wrong with me?

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I think that your symptoms are typical of Chondromalacia patella, a softening and degeneration of the tissue (cartilage) underneath the kneecap (patella). If it occurs in young people it is usually related to injury, overuse or too great force applied on the knee. In older people it could be a sign of arthritis of the kneecap. A history of dislocation or fracture may contribute to the development of chondromalacia. You have to see your physician. He will perform a physical examination. He may find out that your kneecap is not perfectly lined up with the femur (thigh bone). If diagnosed you may have to rest your knee temporary and take some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It can be helpful if you strengthen your quads and stretch your hamstring. You have to avoid any strenuous activity especially deep knee bends until the pain subsides. In rare, most severe cases surgery is an option. It is successful in about 60-90% of the cases. Keeping the leg muscles (especially the quadriceps and the hamstrings) strong and flexible as well as avoiding trauma or abnormal stress on the knees is the best prevention.
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