Patellar dislocation, also known as patellar luxation accounts for 3% of all traumatic knee pain episodes every year.




It is most frequent in adolescence under 20 years of age.

It causes a lot of pain and discomfort.

And surgery for patellar dislocation costs about $16,000.

Fortunate, surgery is often not necessary.

I’ll show you here what causes a patellar dislocation and how you can treat it yourself with a few exercises.

Keep reading and I’ll show you the step by step process you have to follow to recover from patellar luxation without surgery.

I’ll show you exactly what to do and what not to do.

If you find our information helpful and would like to support us you can donate here through PayPal or leave a review on Google or Facebook.

Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video’s.

So let’s start, shall we?

What causes a patellar dislocation?
The anatomy of the knee
Patellar dislocation symptoms
Patellar dislocation treatment without surgery with 3 exercises
Patellar dislocation treatment with surgery

What causes a patellar dislocation?

There are several possible causes for a patellar dislocation.

It may happen when you bend your knee when at the same time your knee is pushed inwards with your foot firmly on the ground.

This results in your thigh muscles pulling your kneecap to the outer side.

This happens more often to women then it does to men. This difference is caused by the difference in the anatomy of the knee. I will discuss this later.

The other cause is with impact from someone else.

If you experience a high energy impact on your kneecap it can dislocate because it’s pushed out of the patellar groove it normally lies in.

If this happens, however, depends partly on the anatomy of your knee.




The most common patellar dislocation directions are to the inner side or to the outer side.

Very rarely it dislocates upwards, but I’ve seen it once.

So first I’ll tell you something about the anatomy of your knee and how this is related to patellar dislocation.

When you understand this, you will also understand why our treatment works so well.

The anatomy of the knee

patellar dislocationAs you can see in the picture, your patella is located in the trochlear groove.

When you bend and extend your knee, your patella glides through this groove from top to bottom.

When your knee is extended, your kneecap is located at the beginning of the groove and when you bend your knee it’s sliding down to the end of the groove.

The depth of this groove differs from one person to the other. A deeper groove provides more stability, thus less chance for a patellar dislocation.

On the other hand, a shallow patellar groove causes patellar hypermobility making it easier for your patella to dislocate.

Also, the groove is not always equally shaped. Sometimes one side is steeper than the other side.

This causes your patella to tilt, either more to the inside or to the outer side.

All these anatomical differences can increase your chance of a patellar dislocation.

Your patella is also covered by the tendon of your thigh muscles, which runs all the way to your lower leg. This tendon also stabilizes your kneecap by pushing him onto your knee.




The function of your patella is to transfer the forces of your muscle from your upper leg to your lower leg.

Because in general woman can hyperextend their knees, this pressure disappears completely. This increases the instability of your patella, making it easier to dislocate. That’s why it’s more common in women then it is in men.

Finally, your patella is embedded in the joint capsule of your knee. This results in even more stability of your patella.

But sometimes parts of this capsule are too tight. This can cause excessive forces to your patella when bending your knee. Also, this can lead to patella dislocation.

You can see that dislocating your patella is not always depended on heavy forces, but that is well the most common cause. So when it happens it will take a long time to recover usually.

Patellar dislocation symptoms




The symptoms you experience after a patellar dislocation are very clear.

You will feel a lot of pain in your knee. You will also see that your patella is dislocated, either to the inner side or to the outer side, or upwards.

You will feel pain or instability when bending your knee. This will lead to dislocation again if you move it too far.

You will also be unable to put a lot of weight on your knee.

There might also be some coloring of your knee caused by blood within the joint.

Now you know everything you need to know about the cause and symptoms of your patellar dislocation, as well as the anatomy of your knee.

The only thing left is the patellar dislocation treatment without surgery.

So let’s finish this.

Patellar dislocation treatment without surgery with 3 exercises

The most important aspect of the patellar dislocation treatment is to prevent him from dislocating again.

When your patella dislocates, it puts a lot of stress on your joint capsule. The joint capsule is stretched a lot and becomes very loose. This causes hypermobility of your kneecap.

patellar dislocation braceTherefore, the first 8 weeks you’re not allowed to bend your knee fully.

This will make sure that your joint capsule recovers and tightens again so it will keep your patella in place in the future.

You have to build this up from no bending at all to full range of motion after 8 weeks.

To rebuild this range of motion the right way you have to buy this specific brace.

This brace will prevent you from bending your knee too far. It is adjustable so it will let you bend as far as you’re allowed.

And you can buy this brace here.

Now build your mobility up following these instructions:

Week 0-2: 0 degrees of bending is allowed

Week 2-4: 30 degrees of bending is allowed

Week 4-6: 60 degrees of bending is allowed

Week 6-8: 90 degrees of bending is allowed.

After these 8 weeks, you’re allowed to bend your knee again as far as you can.

Also, because your knee has been immobilized for so long, the strength and stability of your knee are decreased significantly.

I will show you the exact exercises you can do to regain this to make sure you will regain the full function of your knee.

So let’s start bending your knee again.

Patellar dislocation exercise 1: Increase the mobility of your knee

The first exercise I’m going to show you is designed to increase the mobility of your knee again.

Because your knee has been bend for so long, the muscles and joint capsule are tightened so much that it prevents the full range of motion of your knee.

To regain this again we’re going to stretch your knee again.

You can do this like this:

  • Sit on a chair with your knee’s bend
  • Place your healthy leg in front of your injured leg
  • Bend your healthy leg so your injured leg is bent as well
  • Hold this for 20 seconds
  • Repeat this several times a day

You can also find the exercise in the video below.

When you do this exercise you may feel a little discomfort in your knee. This is okay.

When you get the feeling that your knee might dislocate again, you should not bend any further because we don’t want that to happen.

Patellar dislocation exercise 2: Increase the strength of your thigh muscles

The second exercise is designed to regain the strength of your upper muscles.

Because of the brace, you haven’t used your leg muscles for a long time. This made them weak.

Therefore we have to train them the right way to regain the strength.

We will do this with the following exercise. This exercise will train the strength, without bending your knee. Therefore you can start performing this exercise already while still wearing your brace.

The exercise goes like this:

  • Lay down on your back
  • Pull your toes towards you
  • Now lift up your leg fully extended
  • Repeat this 10 times and do this 3 times
  • Perform this exercise twice a day

You can also find the exercise in the video below

When 10 times becomes too easy, you can increase the number of repetitions to 15 or even 20 times.

As I explained earlier, increased strength will also decrease the possibility of patellar dislocation.

Patellar dislocation exercise 3: Increase the stability of your knee

The third exercise you have to do is designed to increase the stability of your knee.

After a patella dislocation, your knee becomes unstable. You can regain this stability by training your muscles to react faster. This creates a muscular stability which replaces the anatomic stability.

You can start performing this exercise already when wearing your brace.

Perform the exercise as follows:

  • Stand on one leg with knee slightly bent
  • Hold this for at least 30 seconds
  • Repeat this several times a day
  • You can also do this with your eyes closed

You can see the exercise also in the video below.


ankle stability

When you’ve reached the point that you don’t need your brace anymore, you will notice that this exercise will get easier and easier.

You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by doing it on a balance cushion.

When you make the exercise more difficult you will retrain the stability of your knee to a higher level.

This means that when you walk on an unstable surface or make a sudden movement, this movement has to be much bigger than normal to cause any problems.

If you find our information helpful and would like to support us you can donate here through PayPal or leave a review on Google or Facebook.

Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video’s.

Patellar dislocation treatment with surgery

When the patellar dislocation treatment without surgery didn’t work for you or your patella dislocated again, you might have to undergo surgery.

The more often your patella dislocates, the easier it will dislocate again. This can lead to osteoarthrosis or patellofemoral pain syndrome.

To prevent this surgery is often indicated after a reoccurring event.

That’s why I’ll show you the surgical procedure as well here.

There are several surgical procedures described to do this.

Lateral release of the patella

A lateral release of the patella can be performed when the joint capsule on the outer side of your knee is too tight.

This results in pulling forces to the outer side when you bend your knee.

This causes your patella to dislocate.

To prevent this from happening a surgeon can cut through the tightest aspects of the capsule. This will prevent it from pulling your patella too hard to the outer side.

This procedure is only done when conservative treatment didn’t work. This is because often surgery doesn’t provide the desired results.

Medial ligament repair

Another possible surgical procedure is a replacement of the ligament on the inner side of your knee.

When your patella dislocates this ligament often ruptures or tears completely.

This ligament normally connects your patella with your thighbone. The function is to keep your patella in place.

When your ligament is torn, it’s easier for your patella to dislocate.

By replacing this ligament your knee will become more stable again.

The recovery of this procedure is usually a few months. That’s because the reattachment of the ligament has to grow back into the joint and this takes a long time.

Reshaping the patellar groove

The last possible surgical procedure is to reshape the patellar groove.

As I told you before the groove the patella slides through can be to shallow or not aligned properly. This can increase the risk of dislocation of your patella.

By reshaping this groove the surgeon can increase the stability of your patella again.

This might prevent it from dislocating in the future.

Remember that the recovery time for this procedure can be months as well.

If you find our information helpful and would like to support us you can donate here through PayPal or leave a review on Google or Facebook.

Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video’s.

Conclusion

As you can see there are several treatment options for patellar dislocations.

If you follow these steps you’ll have a good chance of recovering completely.

I’ve also written about other forms of knee pain.