Patellar subluxation: What is Subluxation at the Knee?

Patellar Subluxation Treatment Braces

Patellar Subluxation is a patellar tracking disorder in which your patella becomes partially laterally or medially dislocated. Your kneecap is usually located in the patellofemoral groove, or trochlea, at the end of your thigh bone (femur). Your patellofemoral groove lies between two bumps at your thigh bone’s end (femoral condyles). Your patellofemoral groove should allow your kneecap to slide in and out. However, your kneecap may partially come out of the track if you have a patellar subluxation.


What Does Patellar Subluxation Feel Like?

Some people feel minimal symptoms after a patellar Subluxation. Others experience many debilitating symptoms.

The following are symptoms of patellar Subluxation:

  • It feels almost like your kneecap is sliding off of its place
  • Externally, you might be able to see the kneecap displacement.
  • Soreness and general knee pain
  • Your knee buckles and can’t support any weight
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Your knees creak or crackle.

What Causes Patellar Subluxation?


Bone structure – A patellar subluxation is more common in those with a low patellofemoral groove and an extensive Q angle. Your knee’s Q angle measures the angle between your quadriceps muscles (or patella tendon) and your knee. The Q angle gives you a lot of information about your knee alignment. Patellar Subluxation can be caused by bone structure, muscle, ligaments, tendons, movement patterns, and other factors.

Weak muscles – Weak muscles around the hip and knee can lead to instability in your kneecap.
Problems with your soft tissue – When your ligaments or tendons become too flexible, it can cause problems in your ability to hold your kneecap properly. Your soft tissues can also pull your kneecap from its correct place in the patellofemoral groove if they are too tight.
Poor movement patterns – You also risk patellar Subluxation from sports and other activities. You risk patellar subluxations if you run, jump, or make quick twisting movements.

Five Nonsurgical Treatment Options Available for Patellar Subluxation

Pain Management

Resting, icing and elevating your knees (R.I.C.E.) is all you need. A doctor can treat any pain or discomfort associated with patellar dysfunction. Anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can also help alleviate the symptoms of patellar Subluxation. If you have a patellar dysfunction, you must avoid aggravating activities for a while. This will allow your injury to heal correctly.

Physical Therapy

The most important aspect of treatment is physical therapy. Your physical therapist will help you improve your range and motion, strengthen your muscles, and teach you suitable stretches.


Exercise is an essential part of treatment for patellar Subluxation. Exercises can strengthen the muscles around your hips and knees. This helps to promote stability in your kneecap.

Weight Loss

If you are concerned about patellar Subluxation, weight loss can be helpful. Weight loss can reduce pressure on the knee joint and improve stability at the kneecap.

Braces and Taping

Taping or using a brace for patellar Subluxation to hold your kneecap in place during recovery or daily is a good idea. A brace for patellar undervaluation (or taping) helps to immobilize your knee. It also prevents any unwanted movements that could complicate your injury.

Best Braces to Treat Patellar Subluxation

You can use knee braces to treat patellar dislocation and patellar Subluxation. These patellar subluxation braces can provide extra support for your patella and assist you in rehabilitation.

Open Patella Knee Brace for Patellar Subluxation

Many people with a subluxated leg prefer an open patella knee brace. This brace helps to keep pressure off the sore kneecap.

This is our most popular brace in this style. This pull-on knee sleeve is simple and easy to put on for large legs. It features a patella pad that keeps your kneecap centred in the femoral groove.

This hinged knee brace will provide additional support. Dual action hinges on the mount, allowing for smooth extension and flexion movements while preventing side-to-side damage to your knee. The brace’s metal hinges can be removed as your knee heals. This will allow for a more flexible fit. Open patella reduces pressure on the sore kneecap. The popliteal opening at the back of the knee improves flexibility and airflow. This brace for patella subluxation
Also available in plus-sizes

C-Shaped Buttress

C-shaped buttresses are rubber-like ring that surrounds the patella opening. They help stabilize your kneecap. A brace with a C-shaped buttress can be beneficial if you have medial or lateral patellar Subluxation. This support can also be helpful if your knees need extra help while walking on uneven surfaces such as hiking or downhill.

Another great option is the patella stabilizing brace. This patellar subluxation knee brace, with its C-shaped buttresses and four-part strapping system, can stabilize your kneecap and encourage correct patellar tracking. The mount also has stays that can be placed on either side of the knee to provide additional support and prevent your brace from rolling or bunching.

This lightweight hypoallergenic knee brace will be a great fit if you suffer from knee pain while walking or running. This low-profile knee brace has an open patella design that improves flexibility and relieves pressure on your sore kneecap. This knee brace’s C-shaped buttress can be adjusted for medial or lateral patellar Subluxation. This knee brace will also cover your popliteal (backside of the knee) for additional support and compression.

Knee Brace with U-Shaped Buttress

These knee braces have a U-shaped buttress and are ideal for treating patellar Subluxation. They protect your knee joint, increase patellar tracking, reduce inflammation, and help to prevent future problems. The U-shaped buttress supports the patellar joint and keeps your kneecap in line.

Band to Treat Patellar Subluxation

This patella knee band (like this one) is placed directly under your patella (kneecap). It puts targeted pressure on the patella tendon. This helps to relieve stress from your knees and treat many knee-related issues. The knee band reduces the pain from patellar Subluxation, patellofemoral syndrome (runner’s or jumper’s leg), tendonitis, and other conditions that affect your patella.

Surgery to Treat Patellar Subluxation

After trying every nonsurgical treatment option, you may still experience patellar Subluxation. You might consider having surgery to protect your kneecap. Many surgical options are available to protect yourself against patellar Subluxation or other patellar tracking disorders. You can find more information on surgical options for patellar Subluxation here. Before considering any nonsurgical or surgical treatment options, we recommend you consult your doctor and physical therapist.



About us

WorldBrace is a professional sports braces manufacturer in China, which supplies full-scale OEM/ODM/OPM braces support services globally. 

Our Sports Brace


Contact us

Just fill the contact form with your requirements and we’ll get back to you within 24hrs.