Long history of patella dislocation-first one for 15 years, what now?

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I have had a long history of patella dislocation, first started when I was 11 (now 34) Both knees would go for seemingly no reason, never any trauma to cause it they would just pop out and then in again.

Left knee seemed to calm down and respond to physio but right knee wouldn't cooperate and I ended up having TTT, MPFL reconstruction, Lateral release and 3 Arthroscopy (last one was 10 years ago). So far other than just the usual pain you get from arthritic knees I've only had the odd occasion where they have felt a bit wobbly.

I go to the gym regularly using bikes, cross trainers and treadmills without any problems and i spend a lot of time on my feet for my job and looking after my 4 year old daughter.

On Monday as I went to sit down in a chair my left kneecap dislocated. It went straight back in and x ray showed bones all ok, am in cricket pad splint and on crutches with a referral for physio.

I am concerned at what this could mean for me long term, with my history is the physio likely to just send me back to orthopaedics?

Does anyone else have experience with this sort of thing where it has been such a long time between dislocations?

Any advice is very much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    i also have a long history of dislocations, started at 10 and have dislocated both knees over 25 times im now 25. did you have an mri on both knees? my mri showed i have trochleodysplasia on both knees one was much worse than then other, essentially i had no groove for my knee cap to sit. They said the only reason my knees werent dislocating daily was because my muscles around the knee were so strong because i insisted on going to the gym daily. i had a trochleoplasty and a full ligament repairal of my right knee in july, followed by a mpfl of my left knee 3 days ago. they told me that my left knee was severely damaged an if i hadnt have had this op i was gonna develop arthritis very soon! they said when my knee was relaxed my knee cap was already over 50% dislocated ! anyway so im curious as to whether you had an mri an if you did, by now trochleodysplasia should have been picked up. its very unusual for knees to frequently dislocate without a trauma i would push for a second opinion, also not sure they should have put you through that many ops when essentially although a very invasive surgery trochleoplasty should be able to sort all those issues without needing several different ops! hope you get the answer your looking for ! sorry i couldnt be of more help other than sharing my own experience! x

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  • Posted

    Same as you.

    Mine started when I was 12 and I am 68 now!

    When I was in my twenties I had right patella removed and left patella pinned.

    When I was early forties I had a bad infection in left knee. Thought it might have been caused by the pin so they removed the pin.

    7 years ago I had TKR left knee. Best thing I have ever done. An excellent consultant.

    I do feel for you it just happens completely out of the blue doesn't it?

    Take care and do keep in touch

    Sarha

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  • Posted

    I am 75 and just had a TkR . Prior to surgery knee cap was on the side. It was centered during surgery but quickly went back to the side. For a week I have been wearing a brace to try and center it. so far no luck. I could lift my leg prior to surgery but now I cant. I go to the gym 3 times weekly and do quad exercises daily. Its only 5 months since my surgery and I have been told more surgery. Sorry to hear of your problems at a young age.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your kind words and advice. The last time I had an MRI on the left knee was about 15 years ago so I suppose they may do another one now.

    Both kneecaps have always tracked fine when examined by doctors, and they've always told me that they sit fine within the groove as they should.

    The TTT on the right knee was done at the same time as the lateral release as the surgeon felt the soft tissue was pulling the kneecap out.

    I was told that eventually I would be looking at TKR on both knees as so many dislocations has done so much damage but my doctor would not entertain the idea of me having one done as I am too young so I would have to just wait.

    Given that this was all quite some time ago I am mindful that procedures will have changed and methods moved on.

    I am just worried about going back to being at the mercy of my knees, I spent most of my teenage years in and out of plaster and whilst it was obviously an inconvenience I have a lot more responsibilities now with work and my little girl.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences, it's nice to know that I am not alone in feeling so frustrated.

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  • Posted

    I'm still waiting on physio referral. Back at work now walking with one crutch and hinged brace. I am managing but am definitely experiencing more pain after being at work - thankfully I only work 3 days a week and happen to work in a hospital so in the right place should the worst happen.

    A lot of my pain is at the back of my knee but I still have a lot to the lateral side as well as bruising and swelling.

    I am having a lot of trouble straightening the leg but find I am waking myself up at night when bending my leg in my sleep.

    I am trying to do basic physio that I can remember but am I trying to do too much too soon?

    Thanks very much in advance.

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