Skip to main content

Leg/Knee Case 6 History/Physical Exam

Patella Dislocation

History and Physical Exam

Patella dislocations often occur when the patient pivots quickly with the knee flexed. The rapid forceful contraction of the vastus lateralis dislocates the patella. Common mechanisms are dancing, gymnastics, and trying to catch oneself from falling.

Patients complain of severe knee pain. The knee is held in slight flexion. The patella is usually in an obvious lateral position. A neurovascular exam should be performed before and after reduction.