Patellofemoral dislocation is when the patella jumps completely out of the walls of the groove in the femur bone, making the joint look horribly deformed.

Page updated September 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

patellar dislocation looking from above
The joint usually dislocates to the lateral side, often tearing the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) on the medial side.


Reduction of patellofemoral dislocation

The dislocation may reduce spontaneously at the time, or it may need to be reduced under sedation or anaesthesia.

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Patellar dislocation with torn MPFL

dislocation of the patella with torn MPFLThe MPFL usually plays a major role in resraining the patella in the underlying groove. A dislocation event may tear the ligament.

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

See biography...


Other relevant material -

Primer -

Dr Sheila Strover2019 - All about dislocation of the patella - by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)


Surgeon commentary -

Dr Lars Blønd2017 - Patellar Instability – a Continuum - by Dr Lars Blønd (Knee Surgeon)