A to Z: Patellar Dislocation

Print this page Bookmark and Share

A to Z: Patellar Dislocation

May also be called: Knee Dislocation; Dislocation of the Patella

Patellar dislocation happens when the patella (kneecap) slips out of its normal position.

More to Know

Patellar dislocation can happen as a result of a direct blow to the knee or when the knee gets twisted during sports play or in an accident. The patella may move back into place on its own, or the doctor may gently put the patella back with a quick maneuver called a reduction.

To help keep the patella from dislocating again, an immobilizer or brace must be worn on the knee for a few weeks and crutches might be needed to help with walking. Usually, a person can return to most normal activities within a couple of months, although returning to sports participation can take longer.

Keep in Mind

With rest and proper treatment, most people who have had a patellar dislocation can gradually return to their normal activities.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Related Resources

OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationNational Athletic Trainers' Association This site contains information on certified athletic trainers and tips on preventing and healing sports injuries.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.

Related Articles

Jumper's Knee (Patellar Tendonitis) Jumper's knee is an inflammation or injury of the patellar tendon. Although it can seem minor, it's actually a serious condition that can get worse over time and ultimately require surgery if not treated.
X-Ray Exam: Knee A knee X-ray can help find the causes of pain, tenderness, swelling, or deformity of the knee, and detect broken bones or a dislocated joint.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com


Upcoming Events

Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a fun, festive event for the whole family! Put on your reindeer antlers and your running shoes and come join us for some holiday cheer.

Join us for a special night with an all-star line-up of country music acts performing to benefit the hospital!

Car Seat Safety Check

View full event calendarView more events...

Health and Safety

Your child's health and safety is our top priority


The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

One Children's Plaza - Dayton, Ohio - 45404-1815