Trochear dysplasia is a condition where the  trochlear groove is abnormal, usually at its upper end, at which point the groove is abnormally flat or even heaped into a 'bump'.

mild trochlear dysplasia with shallow trochlea

Mild trochlear dysplasia with a shallow trochlear groove.

trochlear dysplasia with a flat upper trochlea with no groove

More severe situation where the upper trochlea has no groove at all.

trochlear dysplasia with a trochlear bump

Instead of being convex, the trochlear at its upper end forms a concave 'bump', and the patella finds no comfortable groove into which to engage.


Trochlear dysplasia and kneecap instability

Trochlear dysplasia is commonly associated with an unstable patella (kneecap), and patellar dislocation.

dysplastic trochlea
trochlear bump

Dr Lars Blond describes a technique of deepening the groove of the trochlea via the arthroscope, for patients with recurrent dislocation of the patella.

Patellar instability and dislocation

Discussing how the anatomy can affect the tendency to dislocate the patella.




Trochlear dysplasia and patella tilt

Trochlear Dysplasia.....Help!!


The effect of trochlear dysplasia on patellofemoral biomechanics: a cadaveric study with simulated trochlear deformities. Van Haver A, De Roo K, De Beule M, Labey L, De Baets P, Dejour D, Claessens T, Verdonk P. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Jun;43(6):1354-61.

Trochlear dysplasia: imaging and treatment options. Batailler C and Neyret P. EFORT Open Rev. 2018 May; 3(5): 240–247.

Arthroscopic deepening trochleoplasty for chronic anterior knee pain after previous failed conservative and arthroscopic treatment. Report of two cases. Blønd L. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2017; 40: 63–68.

See also -

VIDEO: Putting trochlear dysplasia into context