Conditions + Treatments

Dislocated Patella in Children

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Contact the Lower Extremity Program

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  • International: +01-617-355-5209
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A dislocated patella occurs when the kneecap (patella) pops out from its normal position. This can occur as the result of force or, more often, is related to a developmental condition that leads to an improper alignment of the kneecap with the thighbone (femur). This is sometimes called "unstable kneecap."

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches dislocated patellas

If your child is physically active and participates in contact sports and other activities, he or she may be more prone to having a dislocated patella. While our team of doctors is committed to helping stabilize and re-strengthen your child's knee, they're also interested in helping active young people prevent these injuries in the first place. Past efforts included a sports clinic to teach young athletes about how to take proper care of their knees.

Diagram of knee bones 

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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