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Kneecap (patella) stabilisation surgery
Your patella (kneecap) is positioned in a groove at the end of your thighbone protecting your knee joint. It moves within the groove allowing up and down motion which is required to bend your knee.
If wear and tear or an injury causes the patella to move out of the groove from side to side (dislocate) the result can be very painful and have major impact to your mobility.
Before proceeding with any treatment your knee consultant will need to assess the cause of your patella dislocation. This may involve an x-ray or MRI scan. If this is the first time you have experienced a dislocation your consultant may recommend physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around your knee joint or a brace to help hold the joint in place.
Unfortunately many patella dislocations reoccur. If you continue to experience this your knee consultant may recommend surgery.
What happens during patella stabilisation?
Patella stabilisation is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The surgery performed will be dependent on your individual situation. Sometimes torn ligaments are repaired. In other cases a tendon may be repositioned to stop the patella from being pulled sideways. Most patella stabilisation procedures can be performed arthroscopically.
Your length of hospital stay will depend on what procedure is performed. You will have the opportunity to discuss this with you consultant.
After patella stabilisation
Please arrange for someone to drive you home following your surgery. You will not be able to drive for 4 to 6 weeks depending on your recovery.
Depending on your procedure you may go home using crutches or a walker. You may not be allowed to put full weight on your operated side for several weeks. Take any pain relief medication as prescribed. Icing and elevating your leg may help control swelling and stiffness.
Your consultant may prescribe physiotherapy to help you regain strength and mobility. You will need a series of follow-up appointments to assess your progress and help with rehabilitation.