In patella alta the kneecap rides too high up on the femur (thigh bone).

patella alta and subluxation
High-riding patella (patella alta) subluxing to the outer (lateral) side during knee extension. Because the underlying trochlear groove is flatter at its upper end, it is easier for the patella to subluxate or dislocate when the knee is in extension (straight).


Cause of patella alta

Patients with primary patella alta are generally born that way. It may cause no problem, or they may suffer from anterior knee pain and/or patellar instability. In cases of rupture or avulsion of the patellar tendon, the quads muscle may pull the patella into an abnormally high position.

High-riding patella

What are the common kneecap problems?

A quick overview of kneecap problems to help you with your research.

Differential diagnosis of patellofemoral pain

Part 3 of a course on Patellofemoral Pain by Dr Ronald Grelsamer of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.



Patella Alta.

Patella alta + chondromalacia: many questions.

Patella alta.


Treatment of Patella Alta in Patients with Episodic Patellar Dislocation: A Systematic Review. Magnussen RA, De Simone V, Lustig S, Neyret P and Flanigan DC. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2014 Oct; 22(10): 2545–2550.

Patellar maltracking is prevalent among patellofemoral pain subjects with patella alta: an upright, weightbearing MRI study. Pal S, Besier TF, Beaupre GS, Fredericson M, Delp SL and Gold GE. J Orthop Res. 2013 Mar; 31(3): 448–457.

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