Patella Dislocation

What is patella dislocation?

An injury to the knee that causes the patella (knee cap) to dislocate from its normal position is called patella dislocaion. The patella is located in front of the knee joint. An acute blow or twisting action usually results in patella dislocation. A patella dislocation and dislocation of the knee joint are entirely different from each other. Partial patella dislocation is also possible in certain cases.


Common symptoms of patella dislocation include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling in the knee joint
  • Dislocated kneecap

Patella dislocation is very common among athletes and sports people.

How is it diagnosed?

An orthopedic doctor will be able to identify patella dislocation during physical examination. To confirm the condition, the doctor may suggest an X-ray. It is important to confirm whether the symptoms are caused by patellar dislocation or not as an anterior ccruciate ligament injury may also show the same symptoms.

Treatment Options

Two types of treatment options are available for patella dislocation- conservative treatment and surgical treatment.

Conservative treatment options may include the following:

  • RICE method
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation

Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs may also be suggested to reduce the pain and swelling.

Surgical treatments are not always recommended to young individuals as it may hinder the normal growth of knee structures. However, surgery to correct patella dislocation do not carry any risks or complications. Minimal complications like infection, anesthetic complications etc, can be there after the surgery.

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