Skip to main content
(310) 792-9300 Contact
A woman holding her knee in pain due to injury she experienced while working out at the gym.

The kneecap, or patella, is designed to slide up and down when bending or straightening the knee. To keep the patella from sliding from side-to-side, a groove on the femur is used to provide a tracking path as the kneecap moves up and down. When the kneecap slips off this track, it is called patella mal-tracking, which can cause pain and wear on the knee joint. Our orthopedic team at Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA offers patella mal-tracking treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles.

What Causes Patella Mal-Tracking?

When the patella slides off track, it usually slides to the outside or lateral part of the knee. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors. Some individuals have anatomical issues in their feet, knees or hips that can force the kneecap off-track. Knock-knees or feet/hip misalignment can contribute to patella mal-tracking. Other factors include weaker quadriceps or tight ligaments or tendons that pull the kneecap to one side. The shape of the patella or depth of the femoral trochlea can impact mal-tracking. To determine the best treatment, it is critical to look at possible factors contributing to the improper movement.

Patella mal-tracking can result in knee pain and quicker degenerative issues. The cartilage on the femur and underside of the patella can be worn down faster, resulting in inflammation and osteoarthritis. The kneecap may also be at higher risk for dislocation. To protect the knee joint and relieve knee pain, treatment is recommended.

Conservative treatments for patella mal-tracking can include physical therapy to strengthen quadriceps and other tissues to restore proper tracking. Correcting feet, knee or hip alignment can also reduce mal-tracking issues. When conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be recommended to release tight tissues that contribute to causing patella mal-tracking.

If you have patella mal-tracking that is causing you knee pain or degenerative issues, contact us at Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA. We offer patella mal-tracking treatment at our orthopedic clinic in Beverly Hills.

Visit The Top
Knee & Hip Surgeon in LA