Operative versus non-operative management of patellar dislocation. A meta-analysis

Toby O Smith, Fujian Song, Simon T. Donell, Caroline B. Hing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Conservative management of patellar dislocation can result in recurrent instability in up to 60% of patients. Surgery is therefore advocated in an attempt to reduce the incidence of recurrent dislocation and instability. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of operative to non-operative treatment strategies for patients following patellar dislocation. METHODS: A systematic review of published and unpublished literature was undertaken. Following data extraction, a meta-analysis was conducted to compare the two treatment strategies. The methodological quality of the literature was assessed using the PEDro critical appraisal tool. RESULTS: Eleven studies were included, five randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and six non-RCTs. These assessed 403 patients managed conservatively, compared to 344 managed surgically. The findings of this study indicate that operative management of patellar dislocation is associated with a significantly higher risk of patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis (P = 0.04), but a significantly lower risk of subsequent patellar dislocation compared to non-surgical management (P 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-998
Number of pages11
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number6
Early online date14 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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