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Patellar Subluxation

What is a Patellar Subluxation?knee patellar subThe knee cap normally sits with in the groove at the end of the femur or thigh bone called the trochlea groove. The flared bone which creates the groove is called the emoral condyles. When the knee cap is jarred out of place from that groove it’s called a Patellar Subluxation. This is also called a partial dislocation of the knee.

Many times when this occurs, then knee cap may simply slide back into place. However, there is risk that there can be a tear in the ligaments that stabilize the knee cap.

What Can Cause a Patellar Subluxation?

This is common place among athletes as stress is applied to the knee. When there is a rapid twisting, straightening or impact on the knee, the patellar can be knocked off track. When the leg straightens, the knee cap can shift outside the trochlea groove. Normally, the ligaments keep the knee cap in place. Abnormalities of the emoral condyles or other soft tissue can create an environment with in the knee for a patellar subluxation to occur.

What Are Common Symptoms?

  • Kneecap slips off to the side
  • Rapid and swelling of the knee
  • Extreme pain in the knee area along the ligaments or behind the knee cap
  • Knee catches during movement

What Are Treatment Options For A Partial Dislocation Of The Knee Cap?

Immobilizing the knee is important to prevent a full dislocation. The most common treatment for a patellar subluxation is the RICE formula. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Depending on the cause of the subluxation further treatment such as chiropractic care, physical therapy and possibly surgery may be required.

How to prevent a patellar subluxation?

Strengthening the muscles around the knee is key. Support through a leg wrap or brace may also be required. In a normal healthy body that may be all. As our body ages and depending on the frequency of occurrences, ongoing treatment through physical manipulation as done with a chiropractor or physical therapist may be prescribed.

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