Subluxation is when the bones of a joint nearly dislocate, but not quite, and then return to a normal position, eg patellar subluxation.


What causes subluxation?

Subluxation can occur in any articular joint, but in the knee it most commonly refers to patellofemoral subluxation. Less commonly recognised is tibiofibular subluxation.

Subluxations may occur as a result of faulty underlying anatomy (such as dysplasia of the patella or trochlea), weak musculature or an injury that disturbs either of these.

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Signs of previous patellofemoral subluxation

A patient may involuntarily guard against the doctor moving the patella into a position where it has previously subluxed or dislocated.

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

See biography...