In the event that a dislocated kneecap is particularly severe or may have also caused damage to the surrounding ligaments, tendons or cartilages, surgery may be required to relocate the kneecap or repair other structures. Common surgeries for dislocated kneecaps include:

  • Arthroscopic surgery. This sort of surgery involves inserting a small camera into the knee joint and using a projected image to determine what damage has been caused in the knee by dislocation.
  • Reconstructive surgery. This type of procedure will typically be undertaken after arthroscopic surgery has already been performed. It may involve removing or repairing damaged cartilage, relocating a severely dislocated kneecap or repairing damaged ligaments and tendons.

    See Knee Cartilage Repair, Regeneration, and Replacement


Surgical procedures will typically be followed by a regimen of physical therapy to strengthen the knee joint and surrounding muscles before a return to activity and/or athletic competition. The extent of this therapy will depend upon the patient’s health, the severity of the injury, and the treatment method of choice.

Dr. Terry Gemas is an orthopedic surgeon and the founder of Lakewood Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Dallas, TX. He specializes in sports medicine and has been in practice for more than 15 years. Dr. Gemas has treated professional athletes and currently serves as the head team physician for several Dallas-Forth Worth area high school, college, and club teams.