Mr Michael Moss

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

01243 753032

A lot of people occasionally suffer some discomfort around their patella (kneecap) during normal activity or exercise. Often, these symptoms are troublesome but not debilitating and in many cases can be resolved by physiotherapy and muscle retraining.

However in a small group of people the patella does not sit normally on the front of the thigh bone (malalignment) and does not move normally across the front of the joint (maltracking). This can cause high pressure areas and can accelerate wear because of the “bad fit” of the patella on the femur. Most commonly, this is due to the patella situated far too laterally (on the outside aspect of) the femur.

Realignment of the patella aims to address this maltracking problem and restore the patella back into the normal position on the centre part of the femur. By performing this procedure, I hope to lessen the immediate discomfort of the under surface of the patella and reduce some of the long-term changes that may occur due to patella malpositioning for the patient.

Patients who have lateral maltracking will be diagnosed by a mixture of clinical examination, x-rays and dynamic MR scanning. Dynamic MR scanning allows an active picture to be built up regarding the movement of the patella during knee function. It also provides an indication and picture of the cartilage on the under surface of the patella and any subsequent damage that may have been sustained.

There are several procedures I am able to carry out to correct this depending on the severity and wear of the patellofemoral joint. As your consultant, I will advise you accordingly. The different procedures range from relatively simple arthroscopic (keyhole) procedures through ligament and tendon rebalancing to the more complex bone moving (osteotomy) operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tests will confirm the diagnosis of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is often visible on X-rays. Cartilage loss is indicated if the normal space between the bones is narrowed, if there is an abnormal increase in bone density, or if bony projections or erosions are evident. A blood test is often taken to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.

Mr Moss will conduct an examination of your joint and will ask you to describe the pain. He will record your medical history, often asking you a series of questions about injuries, infections, ailments you have experienced, and any medications you are taking.

From this information and examination, Mr Moss will choose the most appropriate treatment option for you.