Patellar subluxation: What are the signs?

Fact Checked

Patellar subluxation arises if the tendons stabilizing the kneecap abnormally slides out of place. The patella is a small bone positioned on the front part of the knee joint. The injury typically arises after a traumatic injury to the knee joint.

An individual suspected with patellar subluxation should consult a doctor as soon as possible for further assessment and treatment.

Close look on the indications of patellar subluxation

Significant pain or discomfort

The usual indication linked with patellar subluxation is significant knee pain that is localized to the area around the joint.

The usual indication linked with patellar subluxation is significant knee pain that is localized to the area around the joint. The pain sensations generally manifest right away and can worsen if the individual tries to move the affected knee.

The knee pain that arises after a patellar subluxation typically lasts until the patella is restored into place. After treatment, the affected knee joint is tender to the touch until the patellar tendons fully heal.

Swelling or bruising

Patellar subluxation can cause immediate and rapid swelling of the joint. The joint becomes enlarged or puffy and might be tender to the touch.

The tissue damage due to patellar subluxation can result to bruising of the skin around the knee joint. The bruising arises if blood builds up under the skin surface and cause the affected area to appear unusually reddened, bluish or purplish. These symptoms eventually settle as the injury heals.

Instability of the knee

In case the knee tendons move out of place, the joint feels unstable. This form of injury makes it hard for the individual to place any weight on the affected joint while walking or standing.

Placing weight on the affected knee might cause it to give out, thus increasing the risk for the individual to lose balance and fall. Normal knee strength usually returns once the injury has completely healed.

Deformity of the knee

In some cases, individuals with a patellar subluxation might notice that the injured joint is deformed. This occurs if the patella moves out of place, resulting to the misalignment of the knee.

If the patella is restored back in its normal position by the doctor, the deformity typically resolves.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on patellar subluxation is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications of this injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Red Deer First Aid.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.