Patellar Dysplasia

Patellar dysplasia is a malformation that leads to asymmetry of the kneecap and can be congenital or acquired. Congenital dysplasia of the kneecap is often the symptom of a malformation syndrome, while acquired forms can be traced back to accidents. The therapy consists mainly of physiotherapy and the administration of painkillers.

Patellar Dysplasia

What is patellar dysplasia?

The patella is also known as the kneecap. It is a flat, disc-shaped, triangular bone in front of the knee joint. The patella is involved in the joint surfaces of the knee joint and takes on the function of a sesamoid bone in the tendon of the adjacent muscle. The main task of the patella is the lacing of the knee joint and the lever arm extension of the quadriceps femoris muscle. See foodanddrinkjournal for Dressler Syndrome Dictionary Definitions.

In medicine, dysplasia is the malformation or malformation of tissues or organs. Against this background, patellar dysplasia corresponds to a malformation of the bony kneecap. Strictly speaking, non-dispositions are not malformations. However, underdevelopment or overdevelopment of the kneecap can certainly be called patellar dysplasia.

The malformation of the kneecap can be the result of a hereditary disease, but under certain circumstances it can also be acquired through accidents in the course of life. In the narrower definition, there is only talk of patellar dysplasia if the kneecap has an asymmetrical shape.


The causes of patellar dysplasia range from genetic mutations to processes of the patellar tissue after trauma. In connection with patellar dysplasia, a distinction can thus be made between congenital and acquired causes. Dysplasia of the patella can occur, for example, as part of various malformation syndromes and is then in most cases due to genetic mutations.

Such mutations can have a hereditary basis and thus be inherited, for example, in an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. If the malformation of the patella occurs as part of a syndrome, it is merely a symptom of a larger phenomenon. However, dysplasia can also be acquired and thus correspond, for example, to a complication after surgery or injuries to the kneecap. Depending on the cause, the malformation sometimes manifests itself in clinically different symptoms.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Symptoms of patellar dysplasia depend heavily on the cause of the deformity. What patellar dysplasias have in common in the narrower definition is an asymmetry, which causes abrasion of the cartilage layer due to stress. Even in infancy, pronounced patellar dysplasia can cause considerable pain.

However, a subtle malformation of the kneecap can also remain asymptomatic for decades and thus does not cause any symptoms. Most of those affected initially only complain about stress-related pain. Later, the pain can also occur in relaxation situations. Progressive patellar dysplasia is also noticeable in the form of crunching noises when exerted and bruising on the skin.

How quickly patellar dysplasia progresses and how severe the pain is depends on the cause. Genetic dysplasias can be characterized in individual cases, for example, by rapid progression. The level of stress also plays a role in progression.

Diagnosis & course of disease

Dysplasia of the patella can be visualized by X-ray imaging and can thus be unequivocally diagnosed. Finding the cause is a bit more difficult. The anamnesis can give the doctor first indications of past accidents with kneecap injuries or genetic diseases. A specialist can recognize a pronounced dysplasia of the patella with the naked eye.

Nevertheless, X-ray imaging is relevant for diagnosis, as it makes it easier to assess the extent of the dysplasia. In many cases, patellar dysplasia is only diagnosed at an advanced stage, since it does not necessarily have to cause symptoms by then. The typical symptoms of stress-related pain and creaking noises in the knees prompt the doctor to carry out imaging.

The prognosis for patients with patellar dysplasia depends on the cause. By and large, any asymmetry of the patella is largely irreversible. However, accidental patellar dysplasias are often diagnosed earlier than genetic ones and can thus be blocked more easily.


Due to patellar dysplasia, patients primarily suffer from severe pain. These occur primarily during stress and movement, so that the patients are severely restricted in their everyday life. This leads to restricted mobility and a general reduction in resilience. The knees are often swollen and covered with bruises.

Patellar dysplasia can lead to significant pain even without exertion, so that many patients also suffer from psychological problems or depression. Furthermore, the pain of this disease can also occur at night and thus lead to sleep disorders or irritability of the person concerned. The quality of life of the patient is thus significantly restricted and reduced. This disease can also occur in children and thus possibly also significantly restrict development.

A causal treatment of patellar dysplasia is not possible. Those affected are dependent on various therapies and the intake of painkillers in their lives in order to alleviate these symptoms. Life expectancy is not reduced by the disease. However, the disease can limit the patient’s life so that they can no longer participate in sports activities.

When should you go to the doctor?

If optical abnormalities of the skeletal system in the area of ​​the knee are observed in a newborn child, the existing changes should be examined by a doctor. Normally, there is a birth that is accompanied by obstetricians both in the inpatient and at home. Immediately after the birth, the midwives, nurses and doctors present carry out the initial examinations of the child.

In these cases, the relatives do not have to take any further steps to investigate the causes of the optical peculiarities. If the malformation of the kneecap only becomes apparent later in life, there is a need for action. A doctor is required in the case of problems with locomotion, limitations in the mobility of the knee joint and low physical resilience.

Pain, low muscle strength, swelling and circulatory disorders must be examined and treated. If there is noise in the knee area while moving, this is an alarming sign. You should see a doctor to avoid further damage. If there are no symptoms despite the recognizable malformation of the kneecap, a visit to a doctor is recommended. The functions of the knee of the affected person are checked and documented. Follow-up visits to a doctor are only necessary in these cases if changes occur or symptoms develop over the course of life.

Treatment & Therapy

The therapy of patellar dysplasia is not possible on a causal basis. Neither genetic causes nor trauma to the kneecap can be reversed to correct the symptom of asymmetry. Symptomatic treatments are available for patients with kneecap dysplasia. In individual cases, the treatment options depend on the progress of the cartilage damage.

Destroyed cartilage cannot be rebuilt. However, if patellar dysplasia is diagnosed early enough, the progression of cartilage damage can be limited under certain circumstances. The focus of the therapy is therefore on measures that contribute to the preservation of the cartilage that is still present. For example, the affected knee should be protected from excessive strain.

In this context, physiotherapy can teach the patient strategies to reduce stress. In physiotherapeutic care, the patient also builds up muscles that are located around the knees and can therefore have a cushioning and stabilizing effect on the kneecap. Conservative therapy with painkillers can relieve the patients’ pain.

In extreme cases, the affected patella is surgically replaced at a later stage in order to keep the patient able to walk. Physiotherapy is also essential after such an operation.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis for patellar dysplasia must be assessed according to the individual circumstances. However, a cure cannot be assumed. In the case of a congenital disorder, recovery is not possible because the genetic material of humans cannot be changed by medical professionals for legal reasons. The treatment depends on the individual severity of the malformation syndrome.

Normally, the patient’s development and growth process is continuously accompanied by physiotherapy. As a result, the affected person learns at the beginning of his life how the body should be optimally stressed. Although no complete healing is to be expected, there can still be a significant alleviation of existing symptoms. At the same time, serious consequential problems can be avoided.

Recovery is also unlikely with acquired patellar dysplasia. If the cartilage in the knee area has been damaged or completely destroyed, it cannot be restored. Long-term therapy is also necessary so that a change in physical resilience is learned. The aim of the therapy is to minimize the pain and still organize everyday life as optimally as possible.

In particularly severe cases, surgery is performed. This decision is independent of the cause and depends on the existing damage. If the operation proceeds without further complications, physiotherapeutic care can then begin.


Kneecap dysplasia cannot be completely prevented. Some acquired patellar dysplasias are the result of malpositions or poor posture. This type of dysplasia can be prevented by training.


In many cases, those affected by patellar dysplasia have no special or only limited aftercare measures available. Therefore, the patient should consult a doctor as soon as the first symptoms or signs of the disease appear, so that there are no further complications or other complaints. Since it is a genetic disease, it cannot be completely curbed.

If there is a desire to have children, a genetic examination and counseling is recommended in order to prevent a recurrence of patellar dysplasia. Most of those affected are dependent on the measures of physiotherapy or physiotherapy. The person concerned can also carry out many of the exercises at home and thus increase the mobility of the body.

Most of those affected are also dependent on the help and support of their own families in everyday life. It is not uncommon for psychological support to be necessary to prevent depression or other mental disorders. Regular visits to a doctor are also very useful to check the condition of the symptoms. It cannot be universally predicted whether patellar dysplasia will lead to a reduced life expectancy for those affected.

You can do that yourself

In the case of patellar dysplasia, the knee and the affected leg should not be subjected to heavy loads. Sports activities should be tailored to the needs of those affected so that the organism is not further damaged. Together with the doctor or a physiotherapist, exercises and training units can be developed that are carried out independently and independently on a daily basis. This serves to support an optimal supply of the muscles, tendons and nerve fibers. In addition, the demands of the bones and joints can be promoted in the best possible way.

Carrying and lifting heavy objects should be avoided. One-sided movements and bad posture should also be avoided. Pay attention to your own weight so that the skeletal system is not subjected to any further overexertion. Being overweight or gaining a lot of weight has a negative impact on the health of the person concerned. A body weight according to the specifications of the BMI is recommended.

For the cognitive management of pain or other complaints, the use of relaxation techniques can lead to relief. Methods such as meditation or yoga relieve inner tension and at the same time improve well-being. To promote your own health, an optimal diet is advisable. The nutrients absorbed through fresh food or liquids bring about regeneration and strengthen the body’s own defense system.