Patellar tilt is when the patella is tilted to one side, generally the lateral (outer) side, secondary to tightness in the lateral retinaculum, the fibrous restraint at the lateral side of the patella.

lateral patellar tilt
Tight retinaculum on the lateral side. The medial retinaculum is not shown in this illustration.


Tight lateral retinaculum

Patellar tilt may be static or associated with instability such as patellar subluxation or even dislocation. Chronic patellar tilt may eventually cause excessive lateral pressure syndrome (ELPS) which may lead to damage of articular cartilage, with changes in both the medial cartilage from pressure alteration and overload on the lateral cartilage which may lead to arthritic damage there and chronic pain.


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.

An 'interpretation' of a 2008 medical publications of the anatomical structure of the lateral retinaculum as found in cadaver dissections.

A discussion by Dr Ronald Grelsamer.

This is the editor's interpretation of a paper published in 2002, in which the authors stress that no 'corrective' surgery for patellofemoral malalignment should be undertaken on the basis of the imaging findings alone.