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. Patella dislocations are most common in children and young adults.
A patella dislocation can happen for the following reasons:
Symptoms of a dislocated patella include:
A patella dislocation is a painful emergency. The reduction is performed under adequate analgesia/sedation by a doctor.
Some post-reduction non-surgical treatments include:
Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgery if you have experienced multiple dislocations or experience pain and instability after exhausting all the above non-surgical treatment options. During the procedure, your orthopaedic surgeon will repair/reconstruct the medial patellofemoral ligament that holds the patella in place. A knee arthroscopy will precede the ligament reconstruction 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.