The kneecap (patella) forms a joint with the thigh bone (femur) called the patella-femoral joint. This is a highly complex structure that facilitates smooth gliding of the knee as it flexes. It also regulates the transfer of force of the entire body weight through a small area to the lower leg. This force can be as much as four times your body-weight even when performing simple activities such as descending stairs. As a result, minor irregularities can cause major problems.
Patella problems range from pain through to instability and full dislocations. Some of problems are treatable with very simple techniques such as strapping whereas others are more complex and may require one or more operations before any significant improvement is achieved. The key to success in difficult cases is to discover what the underlying problem or problems are. This involves a careful examination of the whole of the lower leg not just the knee followed by imaging – usually an X-ray and MRI scan.
Mr Bourke has a special interest in patello-femoral problems and uses a unique ‘ladder’ of treatment that he will individually tailor to each patient.