Arthroscopic treatment of acute patellar dislocations

Roger D. Dainer, Robert L. Barrack, Steven L. Buckley, A. Herbert Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Twenty-nine patients treated with arthroscopy alone for acute patellar dislocation were reviewed. All had a significant traumatic episode with hemarthrosis in a previously asymptomatic knee. Clinical follow-up averaged 25 months (range 5–64 months). Fifteen patients had concomitant percutaneous lateral release (LR). Significant-sized osteochondral defects not radiographically visible preoperatively were discovered in 40%. Fragments were excised and corresponding craters debrided or abraded. Additional intraarticular pathology discovered included two meniscal tears and one anterior cruciate tear. Overall excellent (E) and good (G) results were 83%. The recurrence rate was 14%, all of which occurred in the LR group. All recurrent dislocations occurred within 1-year post injury. The LR group had 73% G and E results compared with 93% in those without LR. Arthroscopy followed by immobilization was an efficacious approach to acute traumatic patellar dislocations in this specific group of patients. The addition of LR with early motion, however, detracted from the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


  • Acute patellar dislocation
  • Arthroscopy
  • Lateral release


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