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Your patella (or kneecap) sits in a groove at the end of your thighbone protecting your knee joint. It moves within the groove allowing the up and down motion required to bend your knee.

If wear and tear or an injury causes the patella to move out of the groove from side to side (dislocate) the result can be very painful and have major impact to your mobility.

Before proceeding with any treatment your consultant will need to assess the cause of your patella dislocation. They may order an x-ray or MRI scan. If this is the first time you have experienced a dislocation your consultant may recommend physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around your knee joint or a brace to help hold the joint in place.

Unfortunately many patella dislocations reoccur. If you continue to experience this your consultant may recommend surgery.

What happens during patella stabilisation?

Patella stabilisation is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The type of surgery performed will depend on your individual situation. Sometimes torn ligaments are repaired. In other cases a tendon may be repositioned to stop the patella from being pulled sideways. Most patella stabilisation procedures can be performed arthroscopically.

Your length of hospital stay will depend on what procedure is performed. Be sure and discuss what method will be used with your consultant.

After patella stabilisation

Please arrange for someone to drive you home following your surgery. You will not be able to drive until you can confidently perform an emergency stop (4-6 weeks).

Depending on your procedure you may go home using crutches or a walker. You may not be allowed to put full weight on your operated side for several weeks. Take any pain relief medication as prescribed. Icing and elevating your leg may help control swelling and stiffness. 

Your consultant may prescribe physiotherapy to help you regain strength and mobility. You will need a series of follow-up appointments to assess your progress.

Most people make a full recovery following patella stabilisation. As with any surgical procedure there could be complications such as:

Specific complications may include:

  • Continued stiffness
  • Recurrent dislocation
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road
Bournemouth
BH1 1RW

01202 291866

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

01277 695695

Warren Road
Brighton
BN2 6DX

01273 624488

3 Clifton Hill
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870

4 Trumpington Road
Cambridge
CB2 8AF

01223 303336

Cardiff Bay Hospital
Dunleavey Drive
Cardiff
CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane
Cheltenham
GL51 6SY

01242 246552

78 Broyle Road
Chichester
PO19 6WB

01243 530600

Rykneld Road
Derby
DE23 4SN

01332 540100

Foxhall Road
Ipswich
IP4 5SW

01473 279100

Clayton Road
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131

Junction Road
Norton
Stockton on Tees
TS20 1PX

01642 367439

Kingswood Road
Tunbridge Wells
TN2 4UL

01892 531111

Winchester Road
Chandlers Ford
Eastleigh
SO53 2DW

02380 266 377

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