Patello-Femoral Instability

Patello-femoral instability is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) becomes displaced from its normal position. This may cause pain and swelling and may interfere with normal movements of the knee. Treatment aims to restore stability, alleviate symptoms, and prevent future occurrences of displacement.

  • Symptoms

  • Treatment


Common symptoms of patello-femoral instability include:

  • Recurrent episodes of the patella slipping out of place
  • Pain or tenderness around the kneecap
  • Swelling and inflammation in the knee
  • Instability or weakness in the knee
  • Difficulty straightening or bending the knee

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes patello-femoral instability?

Common causes of patello-femoral instability include extremely flexible joints, loose ligaments, other genetic factors, and an injury such as a sharp blow to the kneecap. While genetic contributing factors are unavoidable, strengthening exercises and proper training techniques can help reduce the risk of developing patello-femoral instability.

Can patello-femoral instability affect daily activities or sports participation?

Untreated instability can limit mobility and increase the risk of further damage or injury while participating in sports or other physical activities. Proper management of this condition can help individuals safely resume their regular activities.

Do I need treatment for patello-femoral instability?

No one should suffer needlessly. If you experience persistent pain, difficulty performing daily activities, or worsening symptoms despite self-care measures, we advise you to consult our orthopedic specialists for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can help alleviate the symptoms of patello-femoral instability and restore optimal knee function.

What kinds of surgery are performed to correct patello-femoral instability?

Types of surgical interventions to correct patello-femoral instability may include:

  • Arthroscopic surgery, which repairs damaged ligaments or cartilage through minimally invasive techniques;
  • Realignment procedures, which adjust the alignment of the patella to prevent further dislocations; and
  • Reconstruction surgery, which rebuilds ligaments to enhance stability of the kneecap.

Is surgery necessary for treating patello-femoral instability?

Not necessarily. Many cases of patello-femoral instability can be managed effectively through conservative measures. Surgery may be recommended for severe or recurrent instability that significantly impacts health and quality of life.

How long does it take to recover from patello-femoral instability?

Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the condition and the chosen treatment. For example, patients who undergo surgery and subsequent physical therapy will usually be able to resume normal activities after several weeks to months.

Are there any long-term complications associated with patello-femoral instability?

Chronic instability of the kneecap, if left untreated, can lead to cartilage damage, arthritis, and ongoing knee pain. Seeking timely intervention is crucial to prevent such complications.