What is Patellar Dislocation and Subluxation?

Patellar dislocation, a condition where the kneecap (patella) shifts from its usual position, typically arises from either malalignment or a sudden twisting motion of the leg while the foot is planted and flexed. This displacement presents as a sudden, intense pain accompanied by inflammation, often revealing a visible mass, commonly on the lateral side, where the patella has moved outside its normal position.

The ramifications of patellar dislocation extend beyond the displacement itself, frequently involving damage to surrounding soft tissues. Muscles and tendons connected to the patella are commonly affected, as are the articular surfaces where the patella meets the femoral condyle at the base of the femur. Such comprehensive involvement underscores the severity of this injury.

Despite its seriousness, patellar dislocation is relatively less frequent compared to acute injuries like ankle sprains or muscle strains. Its occurrence often stems from a combination of biomechanical factors extending beyond the knee joint, including issues at the ankle and hip. These predisposing factors can set the stage for patellar dislocation or subluxation.

The context in which patellar dislocation commonly occurs is often associated with athletic events marked by significant trauma or knee instability. This setting necessitates immediate attention and treatment, often administered on the sidelines by healthcare professionals specialising in sports medicine. This proactive approach aims to swiftly address the injury’s acute phase, potentially preventing further complications and expediting the recovery process for the individual. Consequently, patients experiencing patellar dislocation may receive immediate care directly at the sporting venue rather than waiting for a scheduled clinic visit.

Here at Precision Health we offer services such as chiropractic care and rehabilitation which can aid in your recovery from Patellar Dislocation and Subluxation.

Call (02) 9639 7337 or visit our website to book an appointment now!

Vitale, T.E., Mooney, B., Vitale, A., Apergis, D., Wirth, S. and Grossman, M.G., 2016. Physical therapy intervention for medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction after repeated lateral patellar subluxation/dislocation. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 11(3), p.423.

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