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Patella Dislocation

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The patella (kneecap) glides up and down the front of the femur (thigh bone) along the femoral trochlear groove as the knee bends and straightens. The patella may dislocate away from the groove if the tendons and ligaments around the patella provide inadequate support and stability or during forceful movements.

Causes: Dislocation of the patella may occur during sports and activities that involve repetitive running, twisting and jumping actions. Such activities may place excessive stress on the kneecap and cause it to either fully or partially dislocate away from the groove of the femur. Improper biomechanics or inadequate footwear may also be a causative factor of the injury.

Symptoms & Diagnosis: Immediate symptoms are normally associated with pain, swelling and knee joint stiffness. Clicking, locking or giving way may also take place. In an acute dislocation, a popping noise may be heard, the knee may buckle and the knee may feel unstable. An X-ray or MRI scan may be required to confirm the extent of the injury.

Management: Immediate treatment and support is required to allow adequate healing of the injured and inflamed surrounding soft tissues. A skilled physiotherapist will provide the correct treatment and rehabilitation to aid recovery and assist with the full return to sports and function. A biomechanical assessment and subsequent intervention may be indicated to help prevent the injury from reoccurring at a later date. If left untreated, patella instability may persist and relapse may occur.

Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.

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