Patella (kneecap) usually moves up and down within a groove located at the end of the femur (thigh bone).
Patella instability is when the kneecap tries to come out of its place, usually to the outer side of the knee.
Most of the patella injuries develop when your foot is placed on the ground and then you change or twist your direction. Direct blow to the knee cap also causes the injury.
Risk factors include laxity or joint looseness, and girls are at higher risk than boys.
How do you know if you are having patella instability?
You may experience:
- Swollen joints
- Pain on the inner patella
- Difficulty in straightening the knee
- Uneasiness while moving the patella outside the knee
With the first time patella dislocation, the patella will return to its normal position. If it remains the same, it could be reduced by straightening the knee. Knee mobilizers are given to reduce swelling and heal the knee.
Surgery is suggested in case of cartilage or bone fragments in the knee to fix the injures. In most cases, surgery is not needed for the first-time dislocation.
Treatment consists of knee immobilizer for around four weeks, and physiotherapy for six weeks.
Incase of recurrent dislocation, surgical intervention in required. It includes ligament reconstruction, bone and soft tissue realignment, fixing cartilage and bone injuries..