My sister had a motorcycle accident two years ago (she was 16) and hurt her knee. She went to the doctor who diagnosed her with patellar instability and said she would need surgery but that she would have to wait a few years. After that her knee would start to really hurt every now and then so she went to two other doctors who also said she had patellar instability and would need surgery. But one one of them said she has to wait a for surgery while the other said surgery while she is still young would mean better chances of her knee getting back to normal. Please could you give us your opinion, we're trying to avoid surgery so is there an alternative to surgery for patellar instability? And which would be better: surgery while she's 18 or when she's a bit older?
Thanks for writing in. Patellar instability is a result of repeated patellar dislocations or subluxations due to which there is damage of vastus medialis muscle and medial patellar ligament. Does your sister still have symptoms of instability like sudden pain on twisting, swelling etc.
Treatment depends upon the extent of severity of injury. Initial treatment however is rest, ice packs, bracing, crutches and elevation. After initial swelling and pain subsides physical therapy in the form of strengthening exercises, flexibility exercises should be taken up. Life style modifications and activity modifications give long term results.
Surgery is required only if conservative measures fail to give relief. Surgical management is in the form of reconstruction of the medial patellofemoral ligament with autograft or allograft.
Consult a orthopedician for further assistance.
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