What is Patellar Tracking Disorder?
Patellar tracking disorder, also known as patellar maltracking, is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) moves sideways from its groove when the leg is bent or straightened.
Causes of Patellar Tracking Disorder
Causes of patellar tracking disorder include:
- Weakness of the thigh muscles
- Increased stress on the kneecap caused by twisting knee movements
- Traumatic injury to the knee
- Damage to the cartilage, tendons, ligaments
- Improper exercise technique
- Flat feet
- Structural deformity of the knee
Symptoms of Patellar Tracking Disorder
Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition and include:
- Pain in the front part of the knee going up or downstairs, squatting, or jumping
- Catching or locking of the knee in certain positions
- Popping or grinding sensation with walking
- Sensation that the knee might buckle at any moment
Diagnosis of Patellar Tracking Disorder
Diagnosis of patellar tracking disorder is difficult as the symptoms may be similar to many other conditions. The most common diagnostic method involves:
- Physical examination: Your doctor will enquire how the pain started and what makes it worse, as well as observe and feel the knee as you perform certain movements.
- X-ray: Radiographs of the knee may be ordered to identify any damage to the bone surfaces in the knee.
- MRI: This test produces images of the soft tissues in the body and can help identify injuries to the knee ligaments and tendons.
Treatment for Patellar Tracking Disorder
Treatment for patellar tracking disorder includes:
- RICE Method: Your doctor will suggest rest, ice, compression and elevation of the knee. This is a common treatment method to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Knee Taping: This procedure involves using a special tape that is strapped on your knee to prevent abnormal movement of the patella.
- Physical therapy: Your doctor will suggest stretching and flexibility exercises to strengthen the thigh and other muscles around the knee.
Through arthroscopic surgery, your doctor will make small incisions and repair the torn ligaments and other structures to prevent the knee from sliding out of place.
Prevention of Patellar Tracking Disorder
Preventive measures include:
- Stretching your legs before and after exercise
- Maintaining body weight
- Wear good-fitting shoes
- Perform exercise to strengthen muscles
- Avoid activities that place a lot of stress on the knee
- ACL Tears
- MCL Tears
- PCL Injuries
- LCL Tear
- Knee Arthritis
- Knee Osteoarthritis
- Patellar Dislocation/Patellofemoral Dislocation
- Meniscal Tears
- Patellar Tendon Rupture
- Quadriceps Tendon Rupture
- Articular Cartilage Injury
- Knee Malalignment
- Knee Fracture
- Patella Fracture
- Unstable Knee
- Knee Sprain
- Patellar Instability
- Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee
- Goosefoot Bursitis of the Knee
- MCL Sprains
- Ligament Injuries
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Multiligament Instability
- Patellofemoral Instability
- Multiligament Knee Injuries
- Tibial Eminence Fractures
- Tibial Plateau Fracture
- Osgood Schlatter Disease
- Knee Sports Injuries
- Posterolateral Instability
- Knee Angular Deformities
- Recurrent Patella Dislocation
- Tibial Eminence Spine Avulsion Fracture
- Tibial Eminence Fracture
- Osteochondral Defect of the Knee
- Lateral Patellar Compression Syndrome
- Loose Bodies in the Knee
- Women and ACL Injuries
- Patellar Tracking Disorder/Patellar Maltracking