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High incidence of acute and recurrent patellar dislocations: a retrospective nationwide epidemiological study involving 24.154 primary dislocations

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the Danish population as a whole from 1994 to 2013 to find the incidence of acute and recurrent patellar dislocation.

METHODS: The study was performed as a descriptive epidemiological study. The Danish National Patient Registry was retrospectively searched from 1994 to 2013 to find the number of acute and recurrent patellar dislocation. National population data were collected from Statistics Denmark.

RESULTS: The period 1994-2013 saw a total registration of 24,154 primary patellar dislocations. A mean incidence of 42 (95% CI 37-47) per 100,000 person-years at risk was found, and young females aged 10-17 had the highest incidence of 108 (95% CI 101-116). In a 10-year follow-up, patients were at an overall risk of 22.7% (95% CI 22.2-23.2) of suffering a recurrent dislocation, with young girls aged 10-17 experiencing the highest risk, namely 36.8% (95% CI 35.5-38.0). The overall risk of suffering a patellar dislocation in the contralateral knee was 5.8% (95% CI 5.5-6.1) and 11.1% (95% CI 10.4-11.7) for patients aged 10-17.

CONCLUSION: A high incidence rate of primary patellar dislocation was found both as a mean in the population (42/100,000), and particularly in patients aged 10-17 (108/100,000). The risk of recurrent dislocation in the affected knee (22.7%) and the contralateral knee (5.8%) was high, which could indicate the influence of an underlying pathomorphology. This is relevant knowledge to the clinician, as he/she should be aware of the high risk of recurrent dislocation when deciding on treatment, especially in young patients.


TidsskriftKnee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1204-1209
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2018

ID: 50634474