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Patellar Tracking Disorder: Exercises

The thigh muscles (quadriceps) help keep the kneecap (patella) stable and in place. Weak quadriceps increase the risk of patellar tracking disorder.

Ligaments and tendons also help stabilize the patella. If these are too tight or too loose, you have a greater risk of patellar tracking disorder.

The goals of nonsurgical treatment of patellar tracking problems are to reduce symptoms, increase quadriceps strength and endurance, and return to normal function. Exercises for patellar tracking disorder are not complicated and can be done at home in about 20 minutes a day.

  • Most patellar tracking problems can be treated effectively without surgery. Nonsurgical treatment may include rest, regular stretching and strengthening exercises, taping or bracing the knee, using ice, and short-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Quadriceps strengthening is the most commonly prescribed treatment for patellar tracking disorder. Exercises to increase flexibility and to strengthen the muscles around the hip can also help.
  • Patience and dedication are essential. The slow progress and improvement can be frustrating. But most people can be spared a surgical procedure by closely following a conservative therapy program.

Be sure to stay on your exercise program. You may not notice much improvement in your symptoms right away, and recovery can take several months. Problems can come back if you don't keep your strength and flexibility.

how.gif  How do you do exercises for patellar tracking disorder?

Other Works Consulted

  • Earl JE, Vetter CS (2007). Patellofemoral pain. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 18(2007): 439–458.

  • Hudgins T (2008). Patellofemoral syndrome. In WR Frontera et al., eds., Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation, 2nd ed., pp. 371–374. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

  • Kaplan L, et al. (2007). Patellar maltracking section of Knee injuries. In PJ McMahon, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Sports Medicine, pp. 92–95. New York: McGraw-Hill.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
Current as of November 18, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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