Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Patellar Tracking Disorder
Patellar tracking disorder is an imbalance in the knee area that
causes the kneecap (patella) to shift or tilt out of place as the leg bends or
straightens. Symptoms include a dull ache under or around the kneecap, or a
popping, grinding, slipping, or catching sensation in the kneecap as the knee
bends or extends.
Other symptoms of a patellar tracking disorder include swelling of
the knee or a buckling or "giving way" of the knee, where the knee suddenly
fails to support body weight. A patellar tracking disorder may be caused by a
combination of things, including:
Knee pain can be slow to heal. But most people who have patellar
tracking disorder find relief with a few months of nonsurgical treatment,
including rest from the aggravating activity, icing the knee, and nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). After 2 or 3 days of using ice, you can try heat to see if it helps. Physical therapy and bracing or taping the
knee can also help to relieve knee pain. In chronic or severe cases, surgery
may be needed to realign the kneecap, restore normal tracking, and repair
damage to the knee.
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.