ABOUT Patellar Instability - Maximed Turkey
What is Patellar Instability?
Patellar instability is an injury that is common in the general population. This injury affects the kneecap (patella) and can lead to pain, popping, or stiffness in the kneecap. Patellar instability often occurs because of repeating knee injuries over time. The repeated motion of these injuries can irritate or strain the ligaments holding your patella in place.
What are the signs and symptoms of Patellar Instability?
The signs and symptoms of patellar instability include:
• Patellar tendinitis
• The inflexibility of the patella
• Pain in the front of the knee, especially with activity or after activity
• Swelling or tenderness on either side of the patella
• Tightness in, below, and around the patellar tendon
• Reasons for tight inflexible quadriceps: When your leg is straightened and you contract your quadriceps muscle group without bending your leg, these muscles should be able to lift your kneecap. If they cannot then you may have tight inflexible quadriceps.
What are common risk factors for patellar instability?
Common risk factors for patellar instability include:
• Tight quadriceps
• Previous knee injury, especially to the patella tendon or ligament
• A high center of gravity or being overweight
• The inability to control your body's balance while performing an activity that requires stopping and starting. This may be associated with weakness in the hamstring muscles surrounding the kneecap. This muscle group is vital for stabilizing the kneecap during activities that require quick directional changes or requiring sudden stops and quick movements.
• Dysfunction can also be attributed to tightness in these ligaments. An abnormality in the alignment of your lower leg bones (most often caused by a bone spur on your lower femur bone).
Patellar Instability Diagnosis
Preventing patellar instability: 8 weeks after ACL reconstruction surgery, the athlete should be able to start a progressive functional training program to regain muscle balance and neuromuscular coordination between the quadriceps and hamstrings as well as the knee joints proprioception (the ability for the right leg to sense what is happening in the left leg).
Your doctor will ask you questions about your health and activity. If they believe you have patellar instability they will recommend a few things to help with the diagnosis, including
-Examination of your knee joint. Do a joint test by forcing it in a straight line while you flex the knee with a quadriceps muscle contraction. If it does not go in exactly in line with your hip but is slightly off then this is considered normal
-X-ray of the knee joint to look for loose particles of bone and abnormal alignment of the kneecap.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my knee hurt?
Most of the time, torn cartilage or an injury to your meniscus is the cause. The meniscus acts as a shock absorber between your thighbone and shinbone. Problems with the meniscus are more common in 20- to 40-year-olds. Men are more likely to have this problem than women are.
What if I didn't seek medical care?
You mustn't ignore your knee pain, because it could cause permanent damage if left untreated. If you are experiencing pain in your knee, there are several things that you can do to alleviate it.
How is Patellar instability diagnosed?
Your doctor may diagnose patellar instability by asking you questions about your knee and reviewing your medical history. Your doctor may also examine your knee and ask you to move it through various ranges of motion. This will help your doctor check the strength of the muscles around your knee and gauge how well the ligaments holding your kneecap in place are working. Imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI scan, or bone scan, may help identify any problems with bones or soft tissues in or around your knee.
When should I seek additional help?
Seek further medical help if you continue to have pain, weakness, or instability around your kneecap. This may lead to problems running and other common daily activities.