Patellar Subluxation 

A patellar subluxation means that the kneecap has briefly slid out of its normal place in the groove at the center of the bottom end of the thigh bone.

What is Patellar Subluxation?

  • The patella (kneecap) normally sits in a groove at the center of the bottom end of the thigh bone.
  • A patellar subluxation means that the kneecap has briefly slid out of its normal place in that groove.
  • In most cases the kneecap moves towards the outside of the body when it slides out of place.
  • This can be a one-time event, or it can happen multiple times.

a_parents_guide_to_knee_injuries

What Causes Patellar Subluxation?

  • The most common cause is weakness and/or tightness of certain muscles in the hip and thigh, which can make the knee move differently than it should.
  • A direct blow to the front or side of the knee that pushes the kneecap out of its groove.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Pain and swelling  around or underneath the knee cap
  • The knee giving way when walking or running
  • Popping in the front of the knee

What Can I Do to Feel Better?

  • Rest from anything that causes pain
  • Ice for 15-20 minutes as often as once per hour can help control pain and swelling
  • Work with an Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist to strengthen weak muscles and stretch ones that are too tight

When Should I See a Medical Professional?

  • If you’re unable to put weight on the leg
  • Pain and swelling do not improve with rest and ice
  • The knee is popping or giving way
  • If you’re unsure about how severe the condition is