Chondromalacia patellae is difficult to diagnosis clinically with accuracy. In order to clarify the relevant symptoms and signs, 78 patients presenting with a clinical diagnosis of chondromalacia were examined by arthroscopy. In 49% of the knees no abnormalities were found. Presenting symptoms were similar in the normal and abnormal groups. Physical signs were more helpful in diagnosis and it is considered that the presence of an effusion, quadriceps wasting, and patello-femoral crepitus are the most important clinical findings in the diagnosis of chondromalacia patellae. The arthroscope is valuable instrument in establishing the diagnosis of chondromalacia patellae especially in the teenage female.
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