Recurrent patella dislocation is an uncommon but disabling condition usually treated by surgery to stabilise the kneecap. The operations performed are in general of two types. Most patients are suitable for soft tissue surgery designed to recreate the injured ligament that tethers the inside of the kneecap to the inside of the thigh bone. This ligament, called the medial patellofemoral ligament, can easily be reconstructed using hamstring tendon harvested from your own knee.
Less commonly, and if you are unsuitable for medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction, a bony operation is performed during which the bony lump on the front of your shin to which the kneecap tendon attaches is moved a centimetre or two towards the inside of your leg. Following both operations, a short period of splintage and protected weight bearing is required. Recovery is much more rapid following medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction with details of rehabilitation available in ‘related articles’.