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Patellar Instability

April 12, 2023

The patella (knee cap) fits in a groove at the end of the thigh bone and slides up and down as the knee moves. It gives the knee stability. When the patella slips out of the groove it results in instability.

Patellar instability could result from an injury which leads to a dislocation. In chronic patellar instability, the patella does not slide out of the groove completely.


  • Knee pain, swelling, stiffness
  • Difficulty in movement
  • Buckling, catching, locking of the knee
  • Deformity of the knee
  • Shifted knee cap

The knee cap usually returns to normal position on its own. If it does not and if you have chronic patellar instability you may need interventional treatment including surgery.

Consult a doctor if you have the above symptoms.