A subluxation is a partial dislocation. The kneecap, or patella, can
sublux out of its normal position more easily when the thigh muscles are weak, when the patella is not firmly held by the surrounding
tendons and ligaments, or when there is a problem with the alignment or structure of the knee bones.
A patellar subluxation feels like the kneecap is shifting or jamming
out of place. Usually, a subluxated patella returns to its normal position by
itself. But repeated incidents can damage the cartilage
on the back of the patella or stretch the connective ligaments.
Mulford JS, et al. (2007). Assessment and management of chronic patellofemoral instability. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, British Volume, 89-B(6): 709–716.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerPatrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
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