What is a Patellar Dislocation?

The Patella is commonly known as the Knee Cap. It is a triangular bone present at the top of the knee. In the Patellar Dislocation the knee cap moves out of its position in the knee. The Patella or the knee cap could be visually seen as out of place when looked at the knee.


Patellar Dislocation consists of two percent of the knee injuries and is most common in youngsters.

What is the Cause of Patellar Dislocation?

 The injury is caused after a hard hit to the knee, enough to reach to the internal part and tear the middle PCL tissue. The common reasons, not limited to, could be

  • A forceful accidental twist of the lower leg
  • Other injuries where the Patella is hit with bent leg
  • Playing active contact sports like football
  • Previous Patella dislocation injury

Congenital dislocation

What are the Symptoms of the Patellar Dislocation?

When the knee cap is dislocated, even a resting leg flex. The symptoms could be


  • Intense Pain with visible knee cap displacement
  • Knee Swelling
  • Inability to move the leg

How is Patellar Dislocation Diagnosed?

The patellar apprehension test is performed to access the knee condition. The physical examination is followed by X rays.

MRI scans could also be done to find out other internal knee injuries.

How is Patellar Dislocationtreated?

Depending upon the injury extent, age and activity level, the treatment could be the either of two:

  • Surgery followed by Physiotherapy
  • Therapy for rehabilitation

The surgery is not recommended too often in youngsters unless its unavoidable. They are recommended when the other parts of the knees are also damaged(like ACL or PCL injury and factures). The surgery could also be suggested when there seem to be no improvement after the advised rehabilitation therapy.

The rehabilitation therapy initially puts the knee on immobilization for few days (2-3 weeks). This is done to let the injury heal. The rehabilitation program is designed keeping in mind the other injuries too. Rehabilitation is needed even after the surgery.

How long is the Recovery after Patellar Dislocation?

A minimum of 6-8 weeks is needed to recover from the dislocation. However, it takes longer to reach to a specific fitness level for an active lifestyle for example playing specific sports like football.

The recovery greatly depends upon the sternness of the physiotherapy, follow-ups routine.

The Upper Limb Clinic , Thane West is dedicated clinic for all diseases Knee, Hand, Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist. Contact us today  for Patellar Dislocation to get better and accurate treatment and result.