Treating a Patellar Subluxation and Dislocation

Orthopedist in Garden City

Treating a Patellar Subluxation and Dislocation

The knee is the largest joint in the body that allows us to perform several daily activities. The kneecap, or patella, is kept in place by tendons and ligaments. If hit with a strong force, the kneecap can slide out of place. This sliding is known as subluxation (dislocation) and can be a painful injury to deal with. At Advanced Orthopedics & Joint Preservation, our orthopedist Garden City NY specializes in treating knee injuries and can help you return to an active, healthy, and pain-free life. 

What is a Patellar Subluxation?

The kneecap is a protective bone that attaches near the bottom of the femur, and as you move your knee, the kneecap moves up and down. Patellar subluxation is a dislocation of the kneecap that can cause pain and difficulty flexing the knee. Depending on the extent of the dislocation, it will either be referred to as a dislocation or patellar subluxation. Here are some of the symptoms of patellar subluxation:

  • Slipping of the kneecap to the outer part of the knee. 
  • Catching, locking, or buckling of the knee. 
  • Pain at the front of the knee. 
  • Cracking or popping in the knee joint. 
  • Pain after long periods of sitting. 
  • Swelling or stiffness of the knee. 

Those who participate in extreme activities or context sports can be at risk for patellar subluxation. This injury primarily affects young athletes between 10 to 20 years old, and after the initial injury, the chances of a second dislocation are higher. Our orthopedist Garden City NY will examine your injury and determine the best treatment to get you back on your feet. 

Treating Patellar Subluxation

For those experiencing a first-time patellar subluxation, nonsurgical treatment is typically recommended by our orthopedist Garden City NY. Nonsurgical treatments include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, assistive devices to take the weight off the knee, or footwear to take pressure off the kneecap. If you suffer a repeat subluxation, surgical treatment may be necessary. Some of the procedures could include:

  • Medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction. 
  • Lateral release.
  • Tibial tuberosity transfer. 

If you had surgery to treat this injury, the recovery process is longer than with conservative treatments. Physical therapy is often recommended after patellar subluxation surgery to help patients improve their strength and get back into their activities. 

Contact Us

Patellar subluxation is a relatively common injury for those who engage in strenuous activities or contact sports. At Advanced Orthopedics & Joint Preservation, we understand the critical role kneecap function plays. Our team will assess the nature of your injury and implement a comprehensive treatment plan to get you back on your feet. To learn more about this injury, be sure to contact our orthopedist in Garden City NY today!

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