Patellar Dislocations and Subluxations

A dislocation of your patella, or kneecap, often occurs from non-contact knee injuries, especially with the foot/lower leg in a twisted position, resulting in the kneecap moving out of place. Usually, kneecaps move to the outside of the knee. A subluxation is an incomplete or partial dislocation when the kneecap does not fully come out of its normal location in the front of the knee.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

  • Localized pain at the knee especially at the front of the knee often exacerbated by running, jumping, etc.
  • Feelings of instability as if it is going to buckle under your body weight after complete dislocations

HOW CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

Your physical therapy treatment will focus on improving muscle activation to restore normal patellar joint mechanics as well as functional strengthening for your hips, knees, and ankles. Treatment may also include interventions to control pain, reduce swelling, improve balance, restore coordination, and return to your normal activities. Your PT will provide you with a home exercise program to ensure optimal recovery.

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