Patellar subluxation occurs once the kneecap does not slide in its central groove. This occurs if the kneecap is driven towards the exterior of the trochlear groove.
What are the indications?
Depending on the seriousness of patellar subluxation, the incorrect tracking might not trigger any symptoms, or it might lead to dislocation. Generally, a patellar subluxation can cause discomfort during activity along with pain around the sides of the patella.
In most cases, there is knee pain. Take note that how the knee joint bends is believed to be a usual cause of the symptoms that vary from knee pain to dislocation of the kneecap.
What are the causes?
There are various factors that can lead to patellar subluxation. The usual factors include:
- Widened pelvis
- Shallow groove of the kneecap
- Irregularities in the gait of the individual
Management of patellar subluxation
There are a variety of treatment options that can be used to fix patellar subluxation. The one chosen is based on the seriousness of the condition and root of the irregular positioning of the patella.
The treatment should ensure that the patella is not dislocated. The doctor will check the knee along with an X-ray if it has moved out of its groove.
Some of the commonly used treatment options include:
- Bracing and taping – these often provide symptomatic relief but not considered as a long-term solution
- Footwear – the shoes worn contributes to the gait cycle. There are motion control running shoes that can control the gait while running as well as reduce the pressure on the kneecap
- Physical therapy – this includes exercises to strengthen the muscles adjacent the knee as well as the lower extremity.
- Surgery – this is an option if there is significant pain or recurrent dislocation
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a patellar subluxation is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications and how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.