Patella dislocations

PATELLA DISLOCATIONS

WHAT IS A PATELLA DISLOCATION?

The patella bone is surrounded by tendons, and rests in a groove at the end of the femur. The patella is held in place by ligaments and tendons. A kneecap or patella dislocation occurs when the patella bone is pushed out of place, and soft tissues such as ligaments, muscles and tendons are damaged. Knee dislocations are most common in children and young adults.

A patella dislocation or knee dislocation can happen for the following reasons:

  • Loose ligaments can make dislocation more likely
  • Shallow grooves can increase the risk of dislocation
  • Muscle weakness can lead to dislocations
  • Hard falls or knocks can cause the patella to be pushed out of place, and can occur as a sport injury.
  • A twisting of the knee or ankle can result in a dislocation.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Symptoms of a dislocated patella or dislocated knee include:

  • Knee joint pain
  • Swelling
  • The feeling of having the kneecap shift from its usual position
  • A popping sound when the kneecap dislocates

HOW CAN IT BE TREATED?

If you think you have dislocated your kneecap, your doctor will conduct a physical examination, and check for tenderness and range of motion. He will then put the kneecap back in place by applying pressure to the area.

Some non-surgical treatments include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Rest
  • The use of crutches or a patellar dislocation brace

If you have experienced multiple dislocations, or experience pain and instability after exhausting all the above non-surgical treatment options, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend dislocated knee surgery. During the procedure, your orthopaedic surgeon will repair/reconstruct the medial patelo-femoral ligament that holds the patella in place. The ligament reconstruction will be preceded by a knee arthroscopy to make sure the other structures inside the knee (meniscus) are not damaged. The surgical equipment used in arthroscopy is particularly small, which means that the incisions made in the body will be small, less painful, and will heal much quicker than those made in traditional open surgery.

DR GABRIEL PIRJOL

Dr Gabriel Pirjol is an orthopaedic surgeon based in Kwazulu Natal at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban. He also consults and operates from Gateway Hospital in Umhlanga, Westville Hospital and Malvern Medicross.

CONTACT

Telephone: +27 31 202 5463

Email: gpirjol@gmail.com / lisacbauerschmidt@gmail.com

Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001