Kneecap stabilisation

Patella (kneecap) realignment surgery

Kneecap stabilisation is a surgical procedure to realign a dislocated knee and repair the ligaments holding it in place

About

Knee instability is usually caused by an injury where your kneecap slips out of place (dislocation). Instability can lead to recurrent dislocation and chronic pain, causing damage to the tendons and ligaments holding your knee in place. Your consultant may recommend surgery to realign and help stabilise your knee.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Kneecap stabilisation surgery is usually done under general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep. The type of surgery you have will depend on the cause of your kneecap instability and the extent of the damage to your joint. Stabilisation surgery can often be done as an arthroscopic (keyhole) procedure. In some cases, open surgery may be required. Your consultant will recommend the best approach for you. The procedure usually involves repairing damaged or torn ligaments in your knee. Your surgeon may also need to reposition a tendon to prevent your kneecap from being pulled out of alignment again. The entire procedure can take up to an hour.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Before the procedure, your consultant may suggest an X-ray or MRI scan to examine your knee and decide the best procedure for you. Your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. They'll let you know what you need to do to prepare, including how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Depending on the type of surgery you've had, you may be cared for in hospital overnight following your procedure. Some people are able to return home the same day. You'll need to use crutches or a walker for several days after you leave hospital. Your consultant will let you know you when you can start bearing weight on your leg again. They may also recommend some physiotherapy exercises to help rebuild you knee strength and mobility. Depending on your procedure, a full recovery may take several months. Your consultant will let you know what to expect and when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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