When is surgery indicated for multiple patellar dislocations?

If you suffer an injury, you might try rest and physical therapy to recover and get back to sports. If that injury keeps happening, when should you consider surgery? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss the decision to pursue surgery for multiple patellar dislocations.

Kiah asks:
I am a 14-year-old female. I dislocated my patella in mid-April playing soccer. I rehabbed for 6 weeks, playing on and off throughout that time, and played in a big soccer tournament at the end of May. 3 days later, my swim season started. I swam for almost 2 months, with my patella subluxing every other day or so. I tried physical therapy, a brace, and tape and nothing could get my knee cap to stop sliding. By the end of August, I had subluxed almost 50 times. In the beginning of September, I started playing volleyball and soccer again and kept subluxing. Last week, I dislocated again, and now we are discussing options again. I really want to be able to play soccer this spring. The options I was given were rest, brace, ice or surgery.

For most patients, the treatment for a first-time patellar dislocation or subluxation involves physical therapy and sometimes a patellar stabilization brace. For a large percentage of patients, that non-surgical treatment works. What do you do if your kneecap keeps dislocating or subluxing?

In this video, I discuss treatment, including surgery, for multiple patellar dislocations and subluxations. What does surgery involve? When can you return to sports and exercise after surgery?

Is surgery necessary for multiple patellar dislocations?

If you have suffered multiple patellar dislocations, watch this video to learn more about what you can do to overcome this problem.

Also read:
Treatment of a first-time patellar dislocation
Rehab for a patellar dislocation

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