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- A direct blow to the knee or from injury, such as a fall
- Tension that applies force from side-to-side on the patella
- Sudden twisting motions
- Shallow V-shaped groove on front of your knee.
- Knock knees—knees angled inward and touching when the legs are straight
- Flat feet—fallen arches in the feet
- Excess pronation of the feet—inward roll of the feet when walking or running
- Weak thigh muscles
- A patella that sits too high on the thigh bone
- Weakened and stretched ligaments from a previous patellar dislocations
- Extreme pain and swelling at the knee
- Buckling under your own weight
- Abnormal appearance of the knee
- Stretch and condition the quadriceps and hamstring muscles
- Maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance
- Improve balance and range of motion
- Arthroscopic repair of damaged cartilage, or to realign ligaments or tendons that stabilize the patella
- Reconstruction of medial patellofemoral ligament to help with stability and prevent recurrent dislocations
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Canadian Association of General Surgeons http://www.cags-accg.ca
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Acute patellar dislocation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 26, 2012. Accessed November 5, 2013.
Panni AS, Vasso M, et al. Acute patellar dislocation: What to do? Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013;21(2):275-278.
Unstable kneecap. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00350. Updated August 2007. Accessed November 5, 2013.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, DPT
- Review Date: 01/2014