Do you have this loose feeling in your knee or a sensation that it is going to give way? You could be having an unstable kneecap, also referred to as patellar instability.
The kneecap, also known as the patella, is one of the three bones that forms the knee. As you bend or straighten your knee, the kneecap glides up and down its groove (trochlea). The kneecap is designed to fit in the trochlea to allow for seamless gliding. There are instances, however, when the kneecap would slip out of the trochlea, resulting in either a partial or complete dislocation.
Let’s learn about the contributing factors in patellar instability, how it is treated, and where to seek high-quality treatment for it in San Antonio, Texas.
Causes and Risk Factors
The following conditions and injuries could either contribute to a person’s risk of developing an unstable kneecap or directly cause it:
- Abnormal gait
- A congenitally shallow femoral groove
- Chondromalacia patella (abnormal softening of the cartilage in the kneecap)
- Knee deformity
- Osteoarthritis (wear and tear of the supportive cartilage in the knee)
- Patellar tendinitis
- Plica syndrome (chronic irritation of the synovial membranes which line the knee)
- Repetitive knee movements (squatting with or without associated heavy lifting, running, or jumping)
- Traumatic injury to the knee
- Wider pelvis
Most often, chronic kneecap instability occurs as a result of a combination of any of the abovestated causes.
The muscles around the hip are thought to be responsible for regulating the mechanics of the knee and how the kneecap moves when the knee bends. Injuries to these muscles can also cause kneecap instability.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an unstable kneecap, visit a knee specialist for an expert evaluation. Simple dislocations may be repaired right away with gentle manipulation of the patella back into the femoral groove. Your knee specialist will then likely recommend a knee brace and crutches to offload the strains of your leg movements and to help you stabilize your kneecap.
Recurring, or chronic, kneecap instability may require a physical therapy program to strengthen supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the knee. Arthroscopic knee surgery can correct ligament and cartilage problems and further stabilize your trick knee. Together, you and your physician will decide on the treatment options right for you.
Unstable Kneecap Treatment in San Antonio, TX
At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in San Antonio, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons provide comprehensive care for a wide variety of conditions and injuries, such as those that cause patellar instability. We will perform a thorough evaluation, and based on the severity of your condition, we will devise an appropriate treatment plan, which may include a physical therapy program.
For a detailed consultation with one of our knee specialists, call us at (210) 692-7400. You may also fill out our appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!