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Knee-cap Problems

Anterior Knee pain and Patella Instability: Diagnosis & Treatment

Multiple factors can cause Anterior Knee Pain and Patella Instability. If the knee cap is dislocated due to any cause, our experienced doctors can help you get rid of it. We use modern techniques to carefully manipulate dislocated caps back into the groove.
Our well-positioned surgeons evaluate and treat your patella instability with care and ensure a speedy recovery.

What is Meniscus Repair?
Experiencing Pain in Your Knee?

Symptoms and Evaluation

Problems of the knee cap often manifest in one of several ways:

  1. Pain over the front of the knee especially in activities involving knee flexion, such as stair climbing, rising from a chair, or deep squatting..
  2. A feeling of giving way with or without pain.
  3. Patella dislocation – where the knee cap moves out of the groove of the femur, this is often sudden and patients fall to the ground and are unable to walk after.

How We Can Help

  1. In cases where a dislocation has occurred, the knee cap often has to be manipulated back to the groove. Under sedation, our doctors can help to pop back the knee cap. An X-ray is often done after that to ensure that the knee cap has gone back to its usual location
  2. In cases where there is a sensation of giving way, the clinical term for that is patella instability.

    Risk factors for patella instability:

    General factors:
    1. Lax ligaments
    2. Previous patella instability event
    3. Malalignment or rotational problem of the femur/tibia
    Anatomical factors:
    1. High riding patella
    2. Femur groove not well formed (trochlear dysplasia)
    1. Medial ligament tear (MPFL tear)
    2. Tight lateral structures
Related Information

Our doctors can help you by taking a detailed history to understand your problem, and examine your affected knee to assess which of the above contributes to your problem of knee pain. Imaging such as X-rays and MRI of the affected knee will add critical information in the understanding of your clinical problem. MRI of the knee also tells us the degree of cartilage damage, particularly over the front of the knee.

Once the evaluation is completed, we will then advise you on further treatment. In most cases, you may require advice as to the type of exercises that are suitable for you. We may also refer you to a physiotherapist for mobilisation of the tight structures, and muscle strengthening to correct any muscle imbalance. In severe cases, where there is ligament tear, recurrent patella dislocation, or persistence of severe pain or instability despite adequate attempts at non surgical management, surgery may then be necessary.

The aim of surgery is to correct any factors that contribute to the instability. This may include correcting bony malaligment via bone cuts, repairing the medial ligament, releasing the tight lateral structures, or deepening the femoral groove (in cases of where the femur groove is not well formed). It is therefore critical to understand the nature of the instability in order for the appropriate procedure to be performed.

At Hip & Knee Orthopaedics, we are patient centred. Your clinical success is our priority. Both doctors at our clinic are double fellowship trained, and well positioned to evaluate and treat your patella instability.

Screening For New Patients

We have assembled some packages to help our new patients.

Single Knee


Evaluation of Knee Pain with X-ray

Includes the following done on the same day:
X-ray single knee – weightbearing AP, lateral, skyline view; and
Review in clinic after X-ray
(Exclusive of GST)
Both Knees


Evaluation of Knee Pain with X-ray

Includes the following done on the same day:
Xray both knee – weightbearing AP, lateral, skyline view; and
Review in clinic after X-ray
(Exclusive of GST)

Medisave & Integrated Shield Plans Approved

Great Eastern
NTUC Income
Personalised Care

Let us help with your recovery

Enquire with Us or Call +65 8884 1642.

Dr Adrian Lau

Orthopaedic Surgery Specialist

Dr Adrian Lau is a specialist orthopaedic surgeon trained in primary and complex hip and knee arthroplasty.

Dr Tan Sok Chuen

Orthopaedic Surgery Specialist

Dr Tan is an orthopaedic doctor with subspecialty training in hip and knee surgery – making her the first female hip and knee replacement surgeon in Singapore.

Our Clinic

38 Irrawaddy Road,
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre,
#09-21/38, Singapore 329563

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays