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What are the treatments for an unstable kneecap?

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Your kneecap moves through a V-shaped groove in your thighbone. If that groove is uneven or isn’t deep enough, your kneecap can slide partly or totally out of place.

If it’s only part of the way out, you’ll get a brace to keep you from moving your knee. Within 1-2 weeks, you’ll start physical therapy to strengthen your thigh muscles. You can expect about 1-3 months for recovery.

If it pops totally out, your doctor will first gently push it back into place. In some cases, you might also need surgery to repair damage to your thighbone or the cartilage behind your knee.

If it keeps happening, you may need surgery to tighten the tendons and help keep your kneecap on track.

SOURCES:

University of California, San Francisco: “Knee: Quadriceps and Patellar Tendon Rupture.”

OrthInfo: “Patellar (Kneecap) Fractures,” “Patellar Tendon Tear,” “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome,” “Unstable Kneecap,” “Prepatellar Bursitis.”

Houston Methodist: “Patellar Tendonitis,” “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome,” “Prepatellar Bursitis.”

Kid’s Health: “Jumper’s Knee.”

Mayo Clinic: “Patellar Tendonitis,” “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.”

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Knee Problems.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Knee Pain (Chondromalacia Patellae).”

Cedars-Sinai: “Chondromalacia.”

Harvard Medical School: “Chondromalacia.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 26, 2019

SOURCES:

University of California, San Francisco: “Knee: Quadriceps and Patellar Tendon Rupture.”

OrthInfo: “Patellar (Kneecap) Fractures,” “Patellar Tendon Tear,” “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome,” “Unstable Kneecap,” “Prepatellar Bursitis.”

Houston Methodist: “Patellar Tendonitis,” “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome,” “Prepatellar Bursitis.”

Kid’s Health: “Jumper’s Knee.”

Mayo Clinic: “Patellar Tendonitis,” “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.”

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Knee Problems.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Knee Pain (Chondromalacia Patellae).”

Cedars-Sinai: “Chondromalacia.”

Harvard Medical School: “Chondromalacia.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 26, 2019

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What is prepatellar bursitis?

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