The decision between surgery and nonoperative treatments can be hard for any athlete or active person. It can be an even tougher decision for a child or teenager. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss treatment options for a common injury in young athletes – a patellar dislocation, or dislocation of the kneecap.

Debbie asks:
My 13-year-old daughter has partially torn her MPFL after a dislocation whilst dancing. After almost 3 weeks, there is still some swelling. We are still icing regularly and elevating. Is there anything else we can do? We have had 2 opinions from doctors. One recommends physio, while the other recommends surgery. What is the normal practice for a first-time dislocation?

Patellar dislocations are some of the most common joint dislocations athletes and active young people can suffer. Often nonoperative treatments, including a patellar stabilization brace and physical therapy, can be sufficient to help the patient recover and return to sports.

There are situations, though, where surgery to repair or reconstruct the medial patellofemoral ligament or realign the patella in other ways are needed. In this video, I discuss the different options for a young athlete with a first-time patella dislocation.

Doctor examining patellar dislocation

Also read:
Patellar dislocations
Ask Dr. Geier: Patellar tendon rupture

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