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Patellar (knee cap) instability and dislocation. Here is the low down.

Patellar instability is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) is not stable in its normal position in the groove of the thigh bone (femur). This can cause the kneecap to move out of place or dislocate, leading to pain, swelling, and difficulty with knee movement.

There are several causes of patellar instability, including:

  • Trauma: Direct injury to the knee can cause the kneecap to dislocate.

  • Structural abnormalities: Some people are born with a shallow groove in the femur where the kneecap sits, which can make the kneecap more prone to dislocation.

  • Overuse: Repetitive stress on the knee can cause the tendons and ligaments that hold the kneecap in place to become stretched or torn.

  • Muscle imbalances: Weakness or imbalances in the muscles around the knee can cause the kneecap to move out of place.

Symptoms of patellar instability can include knee pain, swelling, popping or snapping sensations in the knee, and difficulty with knee movement. In some cases, the kneecap may be visibly out of place.

Treatment for patellar instability will depend on the underlying cause, but can include:

  • Physical therapy: exercises to build strength and flexibility in the muscles around the knee

  • Bracing: a knee brace can help to keep the kneecap in place

  • Medications: to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct the tendons and ligaments that hold the kneecap in place.

It is important to consult with a doctor if you have persistent knee pain or instability, as early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent further damage and improve outcomes. For more info or any questions or an appointment here in Southampton contact Mr Frame at Wessex Knee on info@wessex-knee.com


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