Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

What Is Patellar Instability?

Does My Child Have Patellar Instability?Your kneecap – the patella – is attached to your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) by tendons. The thigh bone has a groove where the kneecap rides. As you bend and straighten your knee, the patella slides up and down in that groove, which is called the trochlear groove. If the kneecap moves outside of the trochlear groove, you most likely have one of the two types of patellar instability.

One type is dislocation, where the kneecap or patella is completely out of the groove. The other type, subluxation, is when the kneecap is only partially out of the groove. It is essential to recognize the associated symptoms to determine if your child is suffering from this condition.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Patellar Instability

If your child has patellar instability, he or she may experience:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Catching sensations
  • Buckling sensations
  • Locking sensations
  • Visual deformity

If you suspect your child has a fully or partially dislocated kneecap, doctors will take X-rays of the knee to determine the problem. Your child may also need an MRI to determine if there are issues with the tendons.

Sometimes, the patella will slide back into place on its own. If not, your child will require medical intervention. If it’s the first time, your doctor may order a knee brace, rest, crutches, and physical therapy. In some cases, your child may need surgery.

However, if your child’s kneecap repeatedly fully or partially dislocates, he or she may require surgery to reconstruct the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) or realign the kneecap. The MPFL is a network of soft tissue that helps to stabilize the knee. It is at the inside part of the kneecap and the thigh bone. It is important to seek medical assistance from our team at Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates right away to determine what problem your child is dealing with.

Get Help for Patellar Instability in Santa Rosa or Petaluma, CA

Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates serves the Santa Rosa and Petaluma areas in California, and we are available to help you during your time of need. To get started, contact our office to schedule an appointment by calling (707) 544-3400.

Posted in: Patellar Instability

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