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Patellar Dislocation & Instability (Unstable Kneecap)

Patellar Dislocation & Instability (Unstable Kneecap)


Treatment for patellar dislocation needs to be tailored to the exact cause of the dislocation, this may consist of both surgical and non-surgical options.

Immedate Treatment

If the patella remains dislocated, it needs to be put back in place by a doctor as soon as possible.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Mr Slattery will advise you regarding the use of braces, weight bearing, crutches and a specific physiotherapy program depending upon the cause of the patellar dislocation.

Because a dislocation damages knee ligaments, the patella often remains looser, or more unstable, than it was before the injury. As a result, the patella can dislocate again, often with less force than the first episode. Recurrences also are common if the dislocation was caused by an abnormality in the knee structure.  Overall the recurrence rate is between 20-50%.

Surgical Treatment

If your knee has sustained injury to the cartilage or if the patella dislocates multiple times, surgery may be recommended to correct the problem. The type of surgery will depend on the cause of the unstable kneecap.  There is a wide variety of surgery available to treat patellar dislocation, which Mr Slattery is able to utilise to treat the exact cause of the dislocation.  Mr Slattery is skilled in minimally invasive techniques of ligament reconstruction, femur realignment and arthroscopic techniques to treat patellar instability which he will discuss with you during your consultation.

Above: A dislocated patella-this can be put back into place by straightening out the knee


Above: taping the patella can help relieve symptoms of maltracking and dislocation
Above: surgical reconstruction of the MPFL to stabilise the patella
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