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The patella (knee cap) is a protective bone attached to the quadriceps muscles of the thigh by quadriceps tendon. The patella attaches to the femur and forms a patellofemoral joint. The patella is protected by a ligament which secures the kneecap from gliding out and is called the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL). Dislocation of the patella occurs when the patella moves out of the patellofemoral groove, (trochlea) onto a bony head of the femur. If the knee cap partially comes out of the groove, it is called as subluxation and if the kneecap completely comes out, it is called as dislocation. Patella dislocation is commonly observed in young athletes between 15 and 20 years and commonly affects women because of the wider pelvis which creates lateral pull on the patella. Some of the causes for patellar dislocation include a direct blow or trauma, twisting of the knee while changing direction, muscle contraction, and congenital defects. It also occurs when the MPFL is torn. The common symptoms include pain, tenderness, swelling around the knee joint, restricted movement of the knee, numbness below the knee, and discoloration of the area where the injury has occurred. Your doctor will examine your knee and suggest diagnostic tests such as X-ray, CT scan, and MRI scan to confirm the condition and provide treatment. Surgical treatment is recommended for those individuals who have recurrent patella dislocation. MPFL reconstruction uses a graft, typically hamstring (auto- or allograft), to reconstruct the torn ligament and restore proper patellar tracking and stability.

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