What is Patella Subluxation?

What is Patella Subluxation?

Patella subluxation is a condition that affects the knee joint and is a temporary dislocation of the knee cap from its normal position in the groove at the end of the thigh bone. It is also known as patella instability or knee cap instability. Several groups of muscles and ligaments hold your knee cap in place and if these become injured your knee cap may move out of the grove causing pain and swelling. It is most common for the patella to move to the outside (laterally).

What are the symptoms

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if your patella subluxes:-

  • Locking of the knee
  • Slipping of the knee cap to the outside or inside of the knee
  • Pain after extended sitting
  • Pain at the front of the knee which gets worse after activity
  • ‘Cracking’ of the knee
  • Stiffness or swelling of the knee

Causes of subluxation

  • Extreme activity or contact sport can cause subluxation and the condition mainly affects young active people, although can occur at any age especially if you suffer from hypermobility (too much movement) around your knee joint. After initial injury the chances of a second subluxation is high, approximately 33%.
  • Muscle Imbalance where the outer muscle is stronger than the inner muscle.
  • Knock knee alignment can force the knee cap laterally.
  • Patella Alta where the knee cap is positioned too high and not sitting in the groove.


  • Put an ice pack on the knee
  • Raise the knee on a pillow when you sit down
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pain
  • Wear an appropriate knee brace/support from an accredited supplier
  • Physiotherapy


We have teamed up with our partners Orliman to put together a short video which outlines the condition, Patella subluxation in more detail. It is presented by their leading Orthopaedic Doctor and showcases one of the most popular medically approved products supplied to patients suffering from this condition.


Our recommended product for this common condition is the Orliman Rodisil Active Knee Support

Please visit our website www.orthotix.co.uk to learn more about our award winning business and discover the full range of medically approved products available.