Patellar Malalignment in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan

The sports medicine and orthopedic specialists at DMC Medical Group can provide treatments for patients who have a patellar malalignment in Detroit and southeast Michigan.

The knee consists of the lower end of the femur, or thigh bone, which rotates on the upper end of the tibia, or shin bone, and the patella, or kneecap, which slides in a groove on the end of the femur. Stability in the knee is provided by large ligaments that attach to the femur and tibia. A patellar malalignment occurs when the patella is not properly positioned in the femur trochlear groove at the end of the femur. The malalignment can be partial, known as subluxation, or complete, known as dislocation.

Patellar malalignment can be caused by a direct blow or trauma to the knee, twisting of the knee while changing direction, muscle contraction, or congenital defects. It often happens to young athletes between the ages of 15 and 20, with more women than men affected because their wider pelvis creates a lateral pull on the patella. Symptoms of a patellar malalignment may include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling around the knee joint
  • Restricted movement of the knee
  • Numbness below the knee
  • Discoloration of the injured area

Non-surgical treatments for a patellar malalignment may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation, anti-inflammatory drugs, braces or casts to immobilize the knee, footwear to control the patient’s gait while walking or running, and physical therapy to control pain and swelling, prevent the formation of scar tissue, and help with collagen formation. Patients who have recurring patellar malalignments may be recommended for surgery to loosen or release the lateral ligaments, reconstruct the ligaments, or to prevent the patella from sliding out of its groove. The patient’s physician will determine the best course of treatment based on the injury and its recurrence.

If you have symptoms of a patellar malalignment in southeastern Michigan, the sports medicine and orthopedic specialists at DMC Medical Group can provide you with diagnosis and treatment. Call us today at (888) 542-7028 to schedule a consultation with our skilled and knowledgeable team.