The patella (kneecap) is a thick, circular-triangular bone which articulates with the femur (thigh bone) and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint. It is part of the extensor mechanism of the knee (quadriceps muscle). Its function is to increase the strength and reduce the friction of the quadriceps muscle as it stretches across the knee.
The way the patella articulates with the end of the femur is by articulating with a groove on the top of the femur called the femoral trochlea.
The way these two bones move against each other is affected by a number of factors. Any injury or deviations from normality in any one of these factors can lead to problems with the way the patella articulates with the femoral trochlea and can result in pain and instability of the knee.
Patellofemoral malalignment can cause pain at the front of the knee (anterior knee pain), which can lead to patellofemoral arthritis. In its more severe forms patellofemoral malalignment can cause the patella to dislocate.
Please find below information on patellar malalignment, what to expect prior to and during surgery, as well as post-surgery recovery information.