hypomobile patella

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hy·po·mo·bile pa·tel·la

(hī'pō-mō'bil pă-tel'ă)
A range of patellar movement equal to one quadrant patella or less.

hypomobile patella

Lack of normal medial and/or lateral motion of the patella. A medially hypomobile patella cannot be moved more than 25% of its width medially. A laterally hypomobile patella cannot be moved more than 15% of its width laterally. See: hypermobile patella


Medial hypomobility often results from adhesions of the lateral patellar retinaculum or tightness of the iliotibial band. Lateral hypomobility can result from tightness of the medial patellar retinaculum or hypertrophy or spasm of the oblique fibers of the vastus medialis.


The patient will complain of pain and demonstrate decreased strength during weight-bearing activities. Improper tracking of the patella as the result of hypomobility can lead to chondromalacia patellae.


Physical agents such as moist heat and/or ultrasound and manual therapy techniques can be used to encourage the elasticity of the offending tissues. A surgical release of the patellar retinaculum may be required.

See also: patella