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Dysplasia of the knee


Dysplasia is the abnormal development of an organ, occurring before birth leading to defects that can cause organ malfunctions. This term is also used to define changes in the maturation of tissue after birth, as is the case with cancer. Dysplasia can affect the joints, particularly the knee. It often consists of an abnormality in the trochlea articular surface between the femur and the patella (or kneecap), causing instability of the patella, a.k.a patellofemoral dysplasia.


Dysplasia of the knee manifests itself as follows:
  • hyperlaxity of the knee;
  • recurrent dislocation of the patella with a blocked and painful knee; the replacement of the patella will make the pain disappear;
  • a bad upkeep of knee;
  • and sometimes, a deformity of the knee.


The diagnosis of dysplasia of the knee will be made through a clinical examination, together with an X-ray, which usually confirms the diagnosis by showing dysplasia of the trochlea. In case of doubt, a CT scan can be highly informative.


Surgical treatment may be necessary to reset the patella and sometimes replace the trochlea.