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Orthop Rev (Pavia). 2018 Sep 5;10(3):7688. doi: 10.4081/or.2018.7688. eCollection 2018 Sep 5.

Vertical patellar dislocation: A pediatric case report and review of the literature.

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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland, CA, USA.


Vertical patellar dislocations (VPDs) are a rare event, and even more so among pediatric female patients. There have been less than 30 vertical patellar dislocations reported in the literature since the first in 1844. In this type of dislocation, the patella rotates about its vertical axis with the articular surface facing either medially or laterally. The mechanism of injury for a VPD can be broadly divided into two themes: a twisting injury or direct impact to the medial or lateral edge of the patella. We present a 10-year-old girl with a VPD after experiencing a twisting injury when descending a playground slide. The purpose of this study is to present a case report and review of the literature on vertical patella dislocations, including mechanisms of injury and suggested methods of treatment. We aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the various categories of patella dislocations to alleviate confusion when classifying patellar dislocations. Furthermore, we provide clear suggestions for reduction methods and techniques with regards to vertical patellar dislocations, including a suggested protocol for an irreducible patella.


Vertical patellar dislocation; lateral patella dislocation; patella dislocation

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: the authors declare no potential conflict of interest.

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