The femoral groove is the concave region at the lower end of the femur. It is more commonly called the trochlear groove.

Page updated May 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

femoral groove or trochlear groove
The femoral (trochlear) groove accommodates the patella, which slides along it as the knee bends and straightens.


Relationship of patella to trochlear groove

The groove helps to keep the patella within its walls during knee motion, so that the patella does not sublux or dislocate.

If there is mal-alignment, so that the patellar tendon does not align well with the groove, the patient can experience pain from over-pressure on one side of the patella, or instability.


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Trochlear dysplasia

In some people the groove may be abnormally flat at the upper end, or may even be a bump rather than a groove, making it easy for the patella to jump up and out of this constraint - subluxation or dislocation.

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trochlear groove

Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...