Patellar Tracking Disorder

knee-brace

Patellar tracking disorder is an imbalance in the knee area that causes the kneecap (patella) to shift or tilt out of place as the leg bends or straightens. Symptoms include a dull ache under or around the kneecap, or a popping, grinding, slipping, or catching sensation in the kneecap as the knee bends or extends.

Other symptoms of a patellar tracking disorder include swelling of the knee or a buckling or "giving way" of the knee, where the knee suddenly fails to support body weight. A patellar tracking disorder may be caused by a combination of things, including:

  • Weak thigh muscles.
  • Tendons, ligaments, or muscles in the leg that are too tight or too loose.
  • Activities that stress the knee again and again, especially those with twisting motions.
  • A traumatic injury to the knee, such as a blow that pushes the kneecap toward the outer side of the leg.
  • Problems with the structure of the knee bones or with how they are aligned.

Knee pain can be slow to heal. But most people who have patellar tracking disorder find relief with a few months of nonsurgical treatment, including rest from the aggravating activity, icing the knee, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). After 2 or 3 days of using ice, you can try heat to see if it helps. Physical therapy and bracing or taping the knee can also help to relieve knee pain. In chronic or severe cases, surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap, restore normal tracking, and repair damage to the knee.

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Doctors

Listed below are Signature Medical Group physicians who diagnose and treat this condition.

Robert H. Sigmund, MD

Robert H. Sigmund

St. Louis, MO

  • Orthopedics
  • Hip and Knee
  • Joint Replacement
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Sports Medicine

Robert G. Medler, MD

Robert G. Medler

St. Louis, MO

  • Orthopedics
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Hip and Knee
  • Joint Replacement
  • Pediatric Orthopedics
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Sports Medicine
  • Trauma

Christopher W. Palmer, DO

Christopher W. Palmer

St. Louis, MO

  • Orthopedics
  • Hip and Knee
  • Joint Replacement
  • Sports Medicine
  • Trauma

Thomas S. Samuelson, MD

Thomas S. Samuelson

Overland Park, KS

  • Orthopedics
  • Hip and Knee
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Sports Medicine

James E. Schaberg, MD

James E. Schaberg

O'Fallon, MO

  • Orthopedics
  • Hip and Knee
  • Joint Replacement
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Sports Medicine

Robert P. Bruce, MD

Robert P. Bruce

Overland Park, KS

  • Orthopedics
  • Hip and Knee
  • Joint Replacement
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Sports Medicine
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Locations

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic – Lee’s Summit

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic – Lee’s Summit
3151 NE Carnegie Drive
Suite B
Lee's Summit, MO 64064
Get directions
913-381-5225

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic
10701 Nall Avenue
Suite 200
Overland Park, KS 66211
Get directions
913-381-5225

Signature Orthopedics - Fenton

Signature Orthopedics - Fenton
1011 Bowles Avenue
Suite 100
Fenton, MO 63026
Get directions
314-849-0311

Signature Orthopedics - O'Fallon

Signature Orthopedics - O'Fallon
9323 Phoenix Village Pkwy
Winghaven
O'Fallon, MO 63368
Get directions
636-561-0871

Signature Orthopedics - South County

Signature Orthopedics - South County
12639 Old Tesson Road
Suites 100 and 115
St. Louis, MO 63128
Get directions
314-849-0311

Formerly Premier Care Orthopedics & Sports Medicine