patellofemoral instability

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to patellofemoral instability: Jumper's knee

patellofemoral instability

Laxity and/or tightness of the patellar restraints that results in abnormal tracking of the patella within the femoral trochlea. Patellofemoral instability causes pain during activity and may predispose the patient to recurring patellar subluxation or dislocation and to subsequently present with the clinical signs and symptoms of chondromalacia.


Nonoperative treatment consists of strengthening weak muscles and/or stretching the tight soft tissue that leads to abnormal patellar tracking. Surgical intervention may be required to release overly taut tissue and shave the articular cartilage associated with chondromalacia.

See also: instability
References in periodicals archive ?
1) Patients predisposed to patellofemoral instability may have an increased Q angle, dysplasia of the patella or trochlear groove, patella alta, or a dysplastic VMO.
1) Simmons and Cameron achieved a 0% recurrence rate in patellofemoral instability when the tibial tubercle was transferred distally without medialization in patients with instability and significant patella alta.
27,37,39,40,46,47) An additional limitation to research is the wide spectrum of patellofemoral instability predisposition and the difficulty in truly establishing similar cohorts.