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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
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624 488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111
Overall rating Outstanding
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

01912 816 131
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 360 100
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531 111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good

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