Patellar Tracking Disorder-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Patellar Tracking Disorder-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Patellar tracking disorder can cause an athlete a lot of pain on a daily basis. If you or someone you know suspects you have this problem you should seek help right away. Patella tracking disorder is one of those injuries that you can easily fight through for a while, but it eventually becomes too much to handle. The knee was made to sit in a groove and when it is pulled out of that position it can also put you at risk to get hurt in other ways.

What Is Patellar Tracking Disorder?

Patellar Tracking Disorder-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Photo Credit: Brace Ability

Patellar tracking disorder
is simply when the patella (kneecap) moves out of places when the leg is moved. It generally shifts too far to the outside of the knee which can cause pain and discomfort.

The knee is one of the complex joints in the body. It is made up of the patella, shin bones, and the thigh bone. It is surrounded by tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. A shift in the natural positioning of the patella is going to cause problems like patellar tracking disorder.

The cartilage that surrounds the patella is what helps the entire joint glide over each other. It is the lubricant that helps the knee move smoothly and operate properly. When something happens where the patella tracks wrong this will affect the entire joint.

How Do You Know If You Have Patella Tracking Disorder?

The symptoms of patellar tracking disorder are pretty broad in general but if you are getting pain in the front of your knee when you squat or jump. You get a popping feeling or sound when you are moving your knee around these may be good indicators of patellar tracking disorder.

What you really need to pay attention to is if your kneecap looks like it is dislocated or displaced. That is when you should be seeking out a healthcare professional as soon as possible. This may come along with significant swelling, heat, and pain around the knee joint. Any and all dislocations need to be relocated by a doctor.

If you feel like there is something further wrong with your knee do not be afraid to get a real diagnosis from your health care provider. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

What Causes Patellar Tracking Disorder?

This is a complex disorder. Patellar tracking disorder can be caused by a myriad of different things. However, more often than not it is a combination of things that cause your patella to go off in its own direction.

  • First, you could simply have a bad knee. What I mean by that is you are susceptible to patellar tracking disorder. Your knee is structured in a way that does not allow for it to track properly all the time.
  • Second, you could easily have soft tissue problems. A tight thigh muscle that simply is pulling on the patella causing it not to move right.
  • Third, you suffered an injury that simply caused a shift in the knee, or your patella tracking disorder is caused by a significant injury that required surgery.
  • Finally, which possibly is the most common. You have a repetitive use injury. You possibly are doing something that makes your knee twist repeatedly which forces the knee to track awkwardly.

How Do You Treat Patellar Tracking Disorder?

If you are convinced that you have patellar tracking disorder there are a few things you can do at home if your knee is not dislocated. First, if the joint is painful and swollen do not start trying to get yourself better with a swollen joint. You will risk further injury. However, if your knee is not that painful and is not swollen then you can do a few things to help bring it back.

Get yourself into the habit of finding movements that do not irritate your knee. Wear a knee brace or tape your knee if it helps you feel more comfortable or supported.

The Petersen step up is a good start:

You may also want to get yourself used to doing some self-massage in order to make sure the soft tissues around the area or healthy and ready to perform properly:

If you find that your patellar tracking disorder is flaring up again. Stop doing the movements that are causing it to flare up and get the inflammation back down by using NSAIDs or icing the joint. You need to find movements that are not going to cause your issue to get worse. They should be helping you not hindering your progress.

Can You Prevent Patellar Tracking Disorder?

Patellar Tracking Disorder-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

There are a few things you can do to help mitigate the chances of getting patellar tracking disorder. You should always be avoiding the movements that you know cause stress on your knee joint.

Keep the structures around the knee healthy, strong, and flexible. Take the time to stretch out your hips and ankles as if those joints are tight it will affect your knee as well.

Try to remain at a good bodyweight as that is going to help minimize the stress on your knees. This can be difficult if your sport requires you to be on the heavier side.

Do not get stuck in doing the same things all the time. Patellar tracking disorder can be a repetitive use injury. You need to make sure that you are changing things up. This will help to reduce the risk of repetitive use injuries.

Find The Best Healthcare Providers Using 9INE POINT Health

9INE POINT Health is the best place to start your search for a healthcare provider for Patellar Tracking Disorder. 9INE POINT Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. You can look for a Physical Therapist that also knows acupuncture and find the best local options. It does not matter if you need a physical therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturists, sports doctor, registered dietitian, massage therapist or any other form of holistic medicine. 9INE POINT will help you to find and sort through their skills.

If you are unsure where to start your journey, 9INE POINT Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and 9INE POINT Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or just sore.

The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a 9INE POINT Number. Once you are shown the best local options, how do you know which is the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that. The 9INE POINT Number breaks healthcare providers down by engagement, reviews, and insurances accepted. Getting help with your Patella Tracking Disorder should not be hard.

KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.


9INE POINT Health was created by 9INE POINT in '19 as a means to provide athlete-driven resources to "Protect Athletes' Minds, Body and Belly". As well as be a platform for healthcare providers and other specialists to display their knowledge.


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