Your patellar is also known as the kneecap that sits at the front of your knee. The main functions of the patellar is protection of deeper structures within the knee and assisting with straightening your knee. The patellar is a sesamoid bone, meaning it is independent, and sits in a groove on your femur (thigh bone). It is attached to the quadriceps above and the patella tendon below that then inserts into your tibia (shin bone). The patellar can dislocate due to trauma, such as a direct blow to the knee, or non-contact (less common) where the leg twists on a fixed foot that causes the dislocation. The patella can often reduce itself (pops back in) when the leg is extended; however, you may need to go to the Emergency Department to get it reduced.
Our approach to Patella Dislocations
It is important to consult with a sports doctor and/or physiotherapist after sustaining this type of injury. These types of injuries can be managed in two different ways, depending on your prior history. If this is your first patella dislocation, then conservative management with a physiotherapist is generally recommended. If you have repetitively dislocated your knee, then surgery may be indicated. Management in the initial phases after the injury are important to help with recovery. Our team of physiotherapists and myotherapists are experienced in managing these conditions and are trusted by many specialists and surgeons to appropriately rehabilitate these injuries. They will help guide you through your rehabilitation protocol to get you back to the sports and activities you love doing.
Patellar Dislocation Rehabilitation
Depending on your previous history, this type of injury can be managed either conservatively or surgically. Either option, both should be guided by a health professional to help you return to sport and/or activity.
Patellar dislocation rehabilitation can be broken down into the following phases:
Phase 1: Acute Stage
Timeframe: 0-2 weeks
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Protect the patellar and assist with ligament healing by wearing a brace
- Return muscle function
Phase 2: Subacute Stage
Timeframe: 2-4 weeks
- Improve knee range of motion
- Improve muscular and strength endurance
Phase 3: Late Stage
Timeframe: 4-8 weeks
- Sport specific strength training
- Prevent reoccurrence