Patellar tracking disorder means a painful knee joint injury that can cause severe pain and various knee problems. Depending on the extent of the injury, you may need extra knee support, strengthening exercises, or even orthopedic surgery. It can be brought on by muscle weakness, too much force, repetitive motion, or various other causes. 

In Part 1 of our patellar tracking disorder series, we explored the condition and its causes. Here in Part 2, we will discuss options for how patellar tracking disorder is treated and how to get rid of the knee joint pain.

But first, let’s do a brief review of the condition. 

Kneecap Recap: Patellar Tracking Disorder

The patella, or kneecap, is located atop a layer of cartilage and moves along a groove at the end of the femur. Your knee becomes susceptible to injury if exposed to excessive or repetitive forces. 

With patellar tracking disorder, the patella is pushed out of the femur groove and moves toward the outside of the leg. Patellar tracking disorder can also be caused by leg muscle weakness, too tight or loose tendons, aging, and excessive weight. 

Patellar Tracking Disorder Symptoms

Patellar tracking disorder symptoms include knee pain, severe pain, and swelling in the front of the knee. The pain intensifies when you apply pressure as you run, jump, or use stairs. You may feel your knee pop, grind, slip, or buckle. In severe cases, the knee may be completely dislocated.

How is Patellar Tracking Disorder Treated?

Several home remedies are available for patients who are not experiencing severe pain:

  1. Refrain from stressful activities, such as running, jumping, and kneeling.
  2. Ice your knee, and try heat after a few days.
  3. Use over-the-counter pain relievers as directed.

Once the pain decreases, you can start exercises to strengthen the knee. 

Sometimes, more extensive treatment is needed. At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we use evidence-based techniques to relieve the symptoms and stabilize the area. After assessing the injury, we select soft tissue techniques that will address your specific condition. 

Graston Technique

This clinically proven Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) technique uses stainless steel tools to detect and break down scarring. 

Active Release Technique (ART)

This movement-based technique treats restrictions in muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. We combine directionally specific soft tissue contacts with several tissue-selective movement patterns.

FAKTR (Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation, Provocation, and Motion)

FAKTR combines soft tissue treatments, resistance training, and exercises to produce fast results. FAKTR, developed by Dr. Gregory Doerr, DC at Bergen Chiropractic, and Thomas E Hyde, DC, reboots the nervous system, increases the proliferation of healing cells, remodels injured tissues, and directs blood flow to the injured area to reduce swelling and bruising.

Patellar Tracking Disorder Exercises

Gentle strengthening exercises help ease knee pain and strengthen the surrounding muscles. 

#1: Quadricep Contractions

  • Sit up against a back support. 
  • Straighten one knee and bend the other. 
  • In the straight leg, tighten the quadriceps and hold it for five seconds. 

#2: Wall Slides

  • For wall slides, stand with your back against a wall. 
  • Gradually bend your knees and slide down the wall until your knees are at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Hold for five seconds, then slide back up. 

#3: Straight-Leg Raises to the Front, Inside, Outside, and Back

The straight-leg raise helps increase the range of motion. 

  • Lie on your back. 
  • Bend your uninjured leg’s knee and place the foot flat on the floor. 
  • Contract the quadriceps of the injured leg, and lift it about six inches. 
  • Hold for a few seconds, and slowly lower the leg to the floor. 
  • To the front, lift your leg straight up. 
  • To the inside, lift your leg across your body. 
  • To the outside, lift it away from your body. 
  • To the back, lie on your stomach and lift your leg.

#4: Shallow Standing Knee Bends

  • Hold on to a chair or sturdy object in front of you. 
  • Bend your knees and squat about six inches. 
  • Keep your heels on the floor. 
  • Raise back up to stand. 

Can a Knee Brace Ameliorate My Patellar Tracking Disorder?

While exercises help restore your knee and surrounding tissues to their proper location and function, you may also need some additional support. For example, a knee brace wraps around the area and keeps your knee bones in place and your patella from shifting.  

Knee Taping for Patellar Tracking Disorder

Taping techniques developed by Bergen Chiropractic’s Dr. Gregory Doerr, DC, stabilize the injured tissues, prevent further strain, and promote faster healing. 

  • Kinesio Taping tapes over and around the injured area, reducing pain, improving muscular function, decreasing swelling and bruising, and allowing full range of motion.
  • SpiderTech Tape integrates with the body’s nervous system, decreasing pain perception, preventing an injurious range of motion, and sweeping away chemical irritants and swelling. 
  • Specific Proprioceptive Response Taping (SPRT) supports injury healing while allowing a proper range of motion. 
  • Functional Taping is Dr. Doerr’s signature method. His testing procedure provides evidence on which to determine whether taping is necessary and which techniques will produce results.

Can Orthopedic Surgery Help?

While most patients don’t need surgery, it may be required if other treatments have failed or your knee is dislocated. Two surgery options are available for patients, both of which can be performed through arthroscopy: 

  • Cutting the ligaments that hold the patella in place.
  • Repairing the ligament that keeps the patella from moving outward.

How to Prevent Patellar Tracking Disorder

If you want to prevent patellar tracking disorder, you can lower your risks by employing the following tips:

  • Avoid putting excessive force and reduce stress on your knees: This may be difficult for athletes and people with physically demanding jobs. 
  • Get or stay in good physical shape: Exercises that strengthen leg muscles are the way to go!
  • Lose excess weight: Your knees support about 80% of your weight when standing still and 150% when walking. You will ease the strain on your knee bones by excess weight.

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!

Patellar tracking disorder can be quite painful, but fortunately, patients can relieve their knee pain without orthopedic surgery. At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our soft tissue treatments and taping techniques provide thorough healing without surgery or medications. 

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you!