Kneecap removal


Kneecap removal, or patellectomy, is the partial or total surgical removal of the patella, commonly called the kneecap.


Kneecap removal is performed under three circumstances:


A person of any age can break a kneecap in an accident. When the bone is shattered beyond repair, the kneecap has to be removed. No prosthesis or artificial replacement part is put in its place.

Dislocation of the kneecap is most common in young girls between the ages of 10–14. Initially, the kneecap will pop back into place of its own accord, but pain may continue. If dislocation occurs too often, or the kneecap does not go back into place correctly, the patella may rub the other bones in the knee, causing an arthritis-like condition. Some people are also born with birth defects that cause the kneecap to dislocate frequently.

Degenerative arthritis of the kneecap, also called patellar arthritis or chondromalacia patellae, can cause so much pain that it becomes necessary to remove the kneecap. As techniques of joint replacement have improved, arthritis in the knee is more frequently treated with total knee replacement .

People who have had their kneecap removed for degenerative arthritis and then later require a total knee replacement are more likely to have problems with the stability of their artificial knee than those who only have total knee replacement. This occurs because the realigned muscles and tendons provide less support once the kneecap is removed.


General anesthesia is typically used for kneecap removal surgery, though in some cases a spinal or epidural anesthetic is used. The surgeon makes a linear incision over the front of the kneecap. The damaged kneecap is examined. If a part or the entire kneecap is so severely damaged that it cannot be repaired, it may be partially removed (partial patellectomy) or totally removed (full patellectomy). If kneecap removal is total, the muscles and tendons attached to the kneecap are cut and the kneecap is removed. However, the quadriceps tendon above the kneecap, the patellar tendon below, and the other soft tissues around the kneecap are preserved so that the patient may still be able to extend the knee after surgery. Next, the muscles are sewn together, and the skin is closed with sutures or clips that stay in place for about two weeks.


Prior to surgery, x rays and other diagnostic tests are done on the knee to determine if removing the kneecap is the appropriate treatment. Preoperative blood and urine tests are also done.

Patients are asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before surgery. On the day of surgery, patients are directed to the hospital or clinic holding area where the final preparations are made. The knee area is usually shaved and the patient is asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove all jewelry, watches, dentures, and glasses.


Pain medication may be prescribed for a few days. The patient will initially need to use a cane or crutches to walk. Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the knee should start as soon as tolerated after surgery. Driving should be avoided for several weeks. Full recovery can take months.


Risks involved with kneecap removal are similar to those associated with any surgical procedure, mainly allergic reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, and infection.

Kneecap removal is very delicate surgery because the kneecap is part of the extensor mechanism of the leg, meaning the muscles and ligaments, the patella, the quadriceps tendon, and the patellar tendon; which all allow the knee to extend and remain stable when extended. When the kneecap is removed, the extensor assembly becomes more lax, and it may be impossible to ever regain full extension.

Normal results

People who undergo kneecap removal because of a broken bone or repeated dislocations have the best chance for complete recovery. Those who have this operation because of arthritis may have less successful results, and later need a total knee replacement.



Harner, C. D., K. G. Vince, and F. H. Fu, eds. Techniques in Knee Surgery. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2001.

Winter Griffith, H., et al., eds. "Kneecap Removal." In The Complete Guide to Symptoms, Illness and Surgery, 3rd edition. New York: Berkeley Publishing, 1995.


Juni, P., et al. "Population Requirement for Primary Knee Replacement Surgery: A Cross-sectional Study." Rheumatology 42 (April 2003): 516–521.

Meijer, O. G., and Van Den Dikkenberg. "Levels of Analysis in Knee Surgery." Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy 11 (January 2003): 53–54.

Petersen, W., C. Beske, V. Stein, and H. Laprell. "Arthroscopical Removal of a Projectile from the Intra-articular Cavity of the Knee Joint." Archives of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery 122 (May 2002): 235–236.


The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 6300 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018-4262. (847) 823-7186, (800) 346-AAOS. .

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS). 704 Florence Drive, Park Ridge, IL 60068-2104. (847) 698-1200. http://hhtp:// .


"Patellectomy." The Knee Guru Page. .

" Patellectomy or Partial Patellectomy." Pro Team Physicians. .

Tish Davidson, AM
Monique Laberge, PhD


Kneecap removal surgery is usually performed in an outpatient setting and hospital stays, if any, are short, not exceeding more than a day. An orthopedic surgeon performs the surgery. Orthopedics is the medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and skin.


User Contributions:

Mr J. Butterworth
My wife had a patella removed several years as it was dislocating and had several fissures. Although this appeared to cure the problem, in later life her knee has become very unstable and she can now only walk extremely slowly with the aid of two walking sticks. Can anything be done to improve this situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
i had a totale knee replacement in may of 2010, the knee never looked right? so i went back to the doctor and he said i torn somthing in the knee. so i had surgery in september2010. he said he cut my hamstings, and took out my knee cap. the incision does not look to good. the skin looks buckled. how long will it take to fully heal, and is it normal to take a knee cap out that was from a total knee replacement. please help
When a procedure like this is proformed do the surgeon need to put a drainage meganism in the area of operation to keep it from becoming infected if they sew it up and put a cast on that leg? Because my daughter was in a car accident and her knee was shattered and she had to have an patellectomy which after the surgery they sewed her up and put a full cast on her and 3 weeks later she had develop an infection, therefore they had to go back in to remove the infection, and then this time they put the drain in and had to put a IV pick to treat her for 6 weeks to flush out the infection. Could this be malpractice? concerned Father.
my mom had knee surgery done,still was very painful.dr said need 2nd surgery,got the second surgery to take whole knee cap she is still in alot of the dr says she needs a third surgery because its to loose,she does not want to go through another surgery...what to pain.besides cold hot pack and pain pills not working.she is taking ibu etc...what to do?
I had a patellectomy done back in 1994. The results were awful. I had had a dislocating kneecap since being about 10 years-old, had a surgery to fix that at 21, so much osteoarthritis set in over the next two decades or so that I could barely walk without considerable pain. That's when I had the kneecap removed. Bad idea. The quads in my leg atrophied so badly I have great difficulty walking without a cane. Cannot climb stairs. Occasionally, the knee still feels as though it will dislocate (as though I still had the knee cap). Doctors claim they have never seen such bad atrophy but frankly, from what I have read here and on many other sites (like Knee Geeks, etc.), I don't honestly think a patellectomy should be done at all unless everything else has been exhausted. treatment-wise. If I could go back I would NOT have the knee cap removed. I have had life long problems with both knees (they are really bad) and in my opinion, orthopedic surgeons often rush into an operation, and don't tell the patient what they are really facing. Rehabilitation is grueling and unless you keep at it seemingly forever, the benefits end with the last appointment. You can do a ton of research here on the Web but orthopedic doctors simply are NOT giving patients enough information, instead rushing into severe surgical procedures that judging from many comments on a variety of sites such as this, aren't working! We have a long way to go in the field of orthopedics in my opinion and until an operation is proven to be of benefit to all (or at least most), it should NOT be performed! Removing a knee cap can and often is nearly incapacitating. Not fond of TKR either. I haven't had it and don't intend to. Too many people I know have have had numerous problems. And the so-called "miracle" of cartilidge implantation does not always have positive results either. You only hear of the successes and never the failures. These sites contain a great many failures that I believe the orthopedic profession would like to simply cover up.
I am 54 years old. Had a patellectomy 10 years ago.Fell on Saturday-felt like the knee dislocated (with no kneecap)In extreme pain.From what I have read this is a dislocation of the extensor felt like all my ligaments and tendons went from the left of the knee to the right...hurt like hell.Waiting for a MRI-wondering how much damage I have done-I have had 10 previous surgeries on the right knee-I think this knee has had it-but I am not a fan of TKR in my situation as of now...looking for help from anyone and any thoughts?
I had a full patellectomy October 2009. I had a car accident in 2001 and went through years of pain and grinding (grade 3-4 chrondomalacia). After two surgeries and two doctors' opinions, I had my kneecap removed. I am commenting to let those who may have this procedure done know I had a great experience and recovery. I am now training to run marathons. It does become sore and give it out while standing on occasion, but that's an awesome trade for the pain I previously experienced for eight years that became worse every year. I could not ride a bike and now I am able to spend the evenings riding bikes or running with my kiddos. I was 25 when I had the surgery. I believe the most important part is to stay active!!!
My mother (80 years old) underwent a patellectomy on July 1 2010 due to undetected infection after surgery to repair her kneecap 3 months before. Since then her pain has increased to the point that she can't stand for more than 5 minutes at a time. She has tried many narcotic pain meds with little relief and had to stop physio as the pain was so bad. Any advice?
My 26 yr old son's right knee patella was shattered in an accident two yrs ago and patella was removed. He still cannot put his right foot confidently as he does not feel supported at the knee. As per this article this occurs because the realigned muscles and tendons provide less support once the kneecap is removed for arthritis related removal. Will it be same in his case or he will be able to perform all knee functions normally? If not, what is the remedy? I want to know if medically full recovery is possible, as if nothing has happened to the knee?
I am now 45 yrs old and have been very active all of my life. I started having knee problems in my teens. I have now had 7 knee surgeries between the 2 knees. I had the patella removed from my left knee at age 22. It was painful and had to really stick to the rehab. To this day, I can do single legged squats and such on the left knee(the one with no knee cap). I have fallen on it, bumped it, and continued to run several miles a day,when I was a bit younger.I feel very fortunate. I have no pain. I have always been able to fully extend the leg and hold it there.I still ride and jump my horses. I can mount my largest horse(17.3H) from the ground. The left quad. is smaller then the right, but not really any less strong. I am having surgery on Tuesday on the right knee again. This will be the 4th arthroscopy,on the right knee, with the potential of a patellectomy. We will see how this ends up.I am looking forward to walking comfortably again.I have the same orthopedic surgeon that I did back in the '80s. He is awesome and kept these pair of knees going :)My Mom had total knees done by him with no complications. And, my husband has had one arthroscopy by him with no problems.He makes great treats things conservatively, but if needed, is such a talented surgeon. Good luck to you all.
i am considering having my knee cap removed as suggested by my surgeon, but i have read very few good reports so would like to hear from anyone who has had a good outcome or otherwise
I am 59, had knee cap removed in 1969 (Boston). I now have arthritis and am in quite a bit of pain. I anticipate non-surgical approaches, which I am currently undergoing, will not work to relieve pain but am very hesitant about TKR. DP - can you share who your surgeon is and where located.
Thanks so much.
I had my kneecap removed in 1970, due to continual dislocations (I'm now 61). I don't recommend it. Stabilizing the kneecap would have been preferable, so the physicians tell me. One problem is loss of strength when straightening the leg. You may have a different situation, however.
I am 31 years old and recently have had my knee cap removed due to a tumor. The tumor came about in 2008 slipped down the stairs and fractured it. Had surgery the tumor was removed and bone graft took its place. The 6 weeks later more rumors formed in the soft tissue. On the shin. Had to have surgery to get those removed and they took a good chunk from my leg and had to have a skin graft. And that covered part of the knee cap and shin. I was fine with little untill 2011 the tumor came back in the knee cap. After lots of questions and seeing a reconstruction sergeon. They finally was going to operate again but before my surgery. I slipped once again this time on liquid that was on a tile floor and shattered my knee cap. They were stumped on what to do so I waited months. And they removed my knee cap took the tendons and muscle from my calf. Wrapped it around and conected it to my thigh and shin tendons and had to get another skin graft. The graft got Infected and tendons started to grow out of it. It is now all healed I am able to walk on it with no pain but it does give out from time to time but I can catch myself with my other leg. I am in PT working on getting to bend all of the way it is a challenge because of the skin graft.
I had my knee cap totally removed, 4 years ago, due to a fall that shattered my knee cap. I am still having issues with my knee buckling, shooting pain to the right of the incision. I am at my whit's end as what to do. My ortho. Dr sees me every 3 months, tells me to come back, in 3 more, this has been the routine for years. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
had my knee cap removed in 1980 the last two months the pain is so bad i fell last year on holiday ever since in a lot of pai went to ae they said they couldnt tell if the damaged had been done from the fall or from operation that i had had over the years going to see surgon next tues already had 6 xrays ready for when i see him does this mean i may have to have new knee joints i am diabetic
Larry Gill
I write this on behalf of my wife.

She had a tumor growing from her spine ( i believe l2-l4). She has now four 8inch rods supporting her mid spine. The problem was that they had to remove nerves in order to remove the tumor completly. Those nerves happen to control her right thigh (quad) muscle. In a seated position she has no muscle whatsoever, and you can clearly see the difference between the left and right, as the right looks like its sitting on bone.
Naturally, she must hyper extend her knee as she walks. Her knee has buckled numerous of times, fallen on it etc... Fast forward to today, it feels as though her kneecap has dropped from where it should be positioned. So its positioned low. I feel as though this will only become worse to the point where she cannot walk.

Also, because she is hyper extending always and the fact she has no thigh muscle, her good knee (left) is taking a beating just to compensate and support the weight of her right side. She is only 31 and the doctors say she has the knee of a 50 year old and will likely kneed surgery on that knee as well.

Should she remove her kneecap of the bad knee? Perhaps releaving some pressure the sagging knee cap is causing?

I am sorry for rambling. I am truly at a loss and feel so helpless as i cannot do anything for her. I feel so much worse when she cant play with our four year old cause shes incapable of so many things we take for granted.

If someone can advise me . Please please email me. Advise me. Docs arent much help, they hae 6 month wait period for appointments.

Thank you and god bless to those with severe knee problems as it breaks my heart everyday seeing how much pain it can be.
Janice SplahaJanniann
Is there any brace that would lessen the pain I experience with my knees and would give me more stability. My knee caps were removed 30 years ago. I hope you can help me, I'm only 75 and I'm not ready to sit life out !!
my friend met an said kneecap is fractured,so they removed kneecap and no replacement is done.Now he is doing pshyioterapy regularly in how many days he totally recover.
umar elite police
hi i am working in elite police counter terrorist squad. on 16march 2012 during a raid i was hit by a car my right knee cap was broken into two pieces.i under gone a surgery doctor repaird the patella and as i was coming to normal life during re-hab exercises i falldown and broke the same injured knee cap.this time doctor's removed my knee cap.this surgery was done at 20th may 2012.after first 3months i have no problem at all walking.i walk jst like normal body can guess whether i have a broken knee.i think in most cases age does matters i am being told by my doctor that i will be able to run and jump after 6months .from the day of knee cap removal till today i am doing great no pain ,no noting except i can't run.all those brother's and sisters who undergone the same knee cap removal i under stan and feel ur pain.please don't lose takes time be patient and you will be alrite.regards umar 24.m.pak police:)
a concern daughter
my mother fell over 20 years ago and had a knee replacement , and last year she fell an broke the replaced knee and had to have surgery but while in surgery the doctor decided not to replace another knee cap.IWas that a good decision to make and can she walk again without a knee cap is not understanding. my mother is 77 years old. Please explain!!
I had both knee caps removed! One in 1999 and the other in 2001 where they took 3/4 of the knee cap and took bone from my hip and placed it from my shin to where my knee cap would have been. I am told no knee replacement surgery will help me in the future. I am in alot of pain still with severe arthritis in both locations plus they took too much bone from the hip crest and it needed reconstruction and secured with screws and plates. I now have herniated discs in my lower back from all the uneven walking I have been doing for years. Gave up my business 4yrs ago and cannot work. I am trying to get on Disability and most think I am lying that I have NO KNEE caps in my legs? They say it's impossible to walk and they have never heard of such a thing,hmm>< I have seen plenty here!! Thanks for all posts. If anyone knows how I can explain to help with a disability matter plz help!

My mum had a car accident about 30 years ago and lost her left kneecap as a result. The surgery was sort of a miracle, went well and she lived without major issue. Recently though at 60 years of age (and a little bit too much time on the dance floor) she experiences a lot of pain in her knee. The pain has been practically constant for the last few weeks-couple of months. Only very strong pain killers help and seems that their effectiveness decreases with time.

Does anyone know what I could do to help her? She can't live on pain killers and a surgery is out of the question, as it'd be very risky. I think she's done rehabilitation before. She's not a diabetic nor doesn't have any major conditions. Does anyone know any other methods e.g. injections? Anything that's fairly healthy and non-invasive.

Thank you
Although I don't feel particularily qualified to contribute to the discussion of knee cap replacement, I do have limited experience. Two weeks ago today I had the procedure performed. In spite of the disappointing, heart breaking experiences I just read, I remain hopeful. I am a 52 year old woman that simply did not have the quality of life that I wanted.Without even taking the pain I experienced on a daily basis into account, I could no longer have a quality of life that a woman my age should be enjoying. There were no more walks, no longer capable of carying my Grandbabies out of tub after their bath. I have always been an average weight. This past year I gained 40 pounds.I couldn't do stairs without pulling myself up.I tried arthroscopic surgery, result was nil. Doc told me take oxycodone and come back in 10 years or so when I would be a more suitable canidate for knee replacement. Not good enough for me. I would be another poor soul lost in the addiction of prescribed meds. No. Even if I can gain one or two activities back into my life; it was well worth it. I choose a surgeon who does this type of surgery on a regular basis. No disrespect to old school orthopedic surgeons, but I choose a young man who was taught state of the art patella removal. Time will tell. If it turns out that I am right I will revisit the site and provide his name. I have so much hope now and for my future.
I just had my right knee cap removed on 1-24-13. I would like to know how long I will be stuck in bed? I have never been in so much pain. Will I be able to walk work all that stuff?
Had patellectomy in 1970 due to injury while in the military. Had a second surgery to repair damage due to aggressive PT afterward just a view days later while in the V A Hospital. Sent home in a cast and a developed a staff infection. Came back to the hospital for another surgery to remove the staff and quarantined for a time. Eventually overcame obstacles and have lived a life with a knee that has been unstable , but have coped with it having several orthoscopic surgeries for maintenance over the years. Had a recent orthoscopic surgery on 10.25.2012. Was doing well after three days went back to the doc and his PA drained my knee. Three days later I developed a strain of ecoli infection which became extremely painful. The pain was like a swarm of bees trying to sting there way out of my knee! Went back to the doc and he removed a spongy pink substance from my knee and immediately sent me to surgery for an ortho debrisment. It didn't work, so had to go into hospital for a surgical debrisment. Afterward, could not walk and place weight on my leg. Something was wrong internally, came to find out I had an old partially torn tendon that had to be repaired. Followed up with major knee surgery to fix. In hospital for 8 days on HD antibiotics and pain meds. Sent home on HD antibiotics and lesser pain meds. The infectious disease pain has appeared to subside, but still on oral antibiotic meds. Started outpatient PT, buy can only achieve about 40 degrees of motion after my leg was in a straight leg brace for over 8 weeks. Lots of PT pain. Anyone out there been through anything like this? Semper Fi
Neil Hardy
Not sure if this will help, but my expeiences might allay some fears. I had my kneecap removed in 1975 after completly smashing it in a motorcycle accident. The knee was immobilised in PoP for approximately 6 weeks after the operation. I started physio therapy imediately after removal of the plaster, and I can remember all to well it was not easy and very painful, and as they say no pain no gain. Initially I only had between 40 and 50 % movement in the knee but through hard and painful work succeeded in getting full move ment back in the joint, and within 6 months was back on the athletics track, competing to quite a high standard and playing other sports. I was at the time in the military (British Army) and carried on for a futher 13 years in service before another sporting injury finished my career.
I had a rt total knee replacement in August 2012, a total rt patellectomy April 30, 2013. Had severe pain when walking, and especially when rising from a sitting position and getting into a sitting position, after knee replacement. Surgeon said the patella was "dead" (avascular necrosis) with 2 spurs underneath. I will be 3 weeks post-op tomorrow, and still having considerable pain as previously stated. Am receiving home PT, but still using a walker. Worse than the pain are the spasms in the knee and behind the knee, for which I have Flexaril. I am doing the recommended exercises, elevating and icing the knee as instructed. VERY discouraged. Had my left knee replaced a year ago, and doing well.
Would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who has experienced this and can offer suggestions and encouragement
Zubin Daver
Hi, My mom has done a knee replacement a year ago for both the knees . She has also done a arthoscopy 3 years ago . She is still in pain and unable to walk proerly. The pain is inbearable at times. When we took a second opinion the doctor said that the sugeon has not fixed the knee cap in the replacement which is necessary which will reduce the pain.

So just wanted to check should she do the surgey again and get the knee cap fixed will it help in reducing the pain and will it be advisable to go for the surgery.

Hello all, I had petallatomy surgery in 2006,the surgery was 100% success . After six months I was completely fit back. Now I can run ,cycling ,climb stairs and do all things. Some times I could not remember which leg got surgery . For recovery I think all we need is our will power and effort. If any body want more about it please contact me on my e-mail . Ph-07446163337
KK Singh
My brother's Right knee Patella is broken in many part. what can we do ? are he can walk,drive, run and climb on stair.where can do surgery near Lucknow ? Pl suggest me urgently . Thanks
l austin

I had my right knee replaced 12 years ago.I got a very bad infection which landed me in surgery again.After all of those years my knee pain is still unbearable.It shifts from one knee to the other. standing in one position almost unbearable.What would you suggest,need some kind of pain releif asap.
David Jenkins
I too had my knee cap removed in my late 20s i am now 65 after the op I with great pain worked really hard to lock out my knee and have kept my muscles in good order so much so that even though I have had pain I have keep really active. Now the bad news. I am now having serious pain with my knee and I now can't lock out my leg. I have just had my consultation with a surgeon canceled. When I asked why ' is it because the next stage knee replacement will be difficult' I was told yes. So pain relief which doesn't work so unhappy with doctors prognosis feel its a cop out.
Patricia Brunner
June, 2014. Last year I had a total TKR and the doctor had to resurface a lot of arthritis from the back of the patella. 5 weeks into rehab my leg buckled and the patella shattered. On the third surgery, my doctor wrapped a 12" donor tendon around the quad and tibia tendons for support. I was totally immobile for 3 months, then rehab began. It is now nearly 1 year after the last surgery and I can walk with a cane, but I am still having PT to build the muscles around the knee for support. I am getting discouraged because I still fear falling as a result of the knee buckling. Steps are difficult. I want to play golf and ride a bike again, but I just wish there were some type of support other than a brace. I plan to do water aerobics. Hope this helps.
i got injurued in a road accident on 3rd may and after surgery of knee,patella was removed on 8th May.Now problem i am facing is bending the knee properly.i am taking help of physiotherapy from last 25days but result is not good as expected as severe pain during bending the knee in the rehab.Please suggest me what to do so that it could be in motion completely as fast as possible.
Lorik Burton
meniscus tear repair surgery with no result after 5 months My Dr performed a total knee replacement. At first my pain level was taken care of by just taking Tylenol,I thought I was getting better fast, but I am now almost a year past with no relief. Since one year I have put on more than 30 lbs, I used to go to the gym on regular basis, and also had a little job at retail, I always stayed in shape. Just few days ago out of no where my knee locked up while standing, looked down I could see the swelling occur and becoming very hard and swollen. I have struggle with pain and swelling for the entire last year, but this one I needed a Bone Scan which has showed no problem, my orthopedic now is sending me to do a metal allergy test, he suspect I am allergic to my knee …. How much more suffering ail I have to go through??
Edward Piacente
I would love to chat with the person called umar elite police. Or umar24.m.pak police In regard to his inspiring comment
I had my crushed patella removed, it has been a year, My knee still goes out occasionally but it is still very weak. Cannot bend down, squat, sit on low items, etc. Does anyone know of a Ortho in Las Vegas or California that can do a patella replacement. I cannot find any in Nevada. Have had almost 9 mo of therapy but still not normal? Am I better off just living with the limitations or having another surgery. Now the tendons and ligaments are just sewn together and placed where my knee cap was?
I moved from FL to AK on Sept 5th 2014, fell on the 7th and surgery on the 8th. I am recovering from a right leg patella fracture, the surgeon removed the bottom half of my knee cap. I begin therapy this week and I'm very excited. I am getting a bit of cabin fever and since this is my dominant leg was wondering what the time limit may be on driving?! I'm 44 and in good health.
I have so many questions, is 1/2 a knee cap going to look disfiguring? What can I reasonably expect life to be like after therapy?
My wife had a total knee replacement in both knees A year later she got MRSA in the right knee. Four surgeries later of taking out the knee, putting in a temporary. then putting in a regular knee replacement. Now we have learned her knee cap is broken with cracks. Should she consider a knee cap removal? Note her left leg is amputated below the knee Long story but I am concerned about the cap right now.
To Melanie. I had half of my kneecap removed due to a fall in the eighties. I was allowed to do my own therapy and as soon as I got enough bend and flexibility I started to drive. I have just had the rest of the patella removed as arthritis was causing pieces to break off. Your knee will look fine and you should be able to do all the things you did before. My therapy took 6 weeks. I am having a bit of trouble with this surgery but am not giving up. I will work as hard as it takes. Good luck to you.
Ok here is my situation at the age of 18 I had lateral hauser done on both knees in cast for 3 months this was in the early 70's and they do not do this any more. This was to relieve knee pain this only lasted about 1 year and the pain started all over again. Then I had both the left and right knee caps removed. Which really help for quite a few years. Now some 40 years later I now have on going problems which have brought my knee pain to extreme which now the doctor will do nothing but give me pain killers. TKR is out of the question at least that what he says as I do not have any joint issues. It is muscular and tendon problems which I have been working on for the last 40+ years.
I'm 51 now when I was 16 yrs and 18yrs had my patella.s removed had further 8 operations on both knees my knees are in pain also give out all the time and I fall and cause injury to my self I'm still able to work part time but can be hard.doctors can't do anymore for me .my future doesn't look bright as physio hAng helped love to have support frm others who have gone through the same and how they cope without kneecapDs.
Gabriella Loftus
I am a 38 year old woman looking to be more affective in my workouts..

Due to the hardware failing back in December 2011 and reconstruction in August 2011, it tore my patella completely up. Which made the patella to be removed. I am able to have full extension in my leg. The only problem now is being able to walk stairs normal. After 4 leg extensions sitting down, I get cramping and grinding. Side, front and back lungs very limited. My knee stops at a certain point.

I'm looking for a brace to help me? Looking for years. Anyone has advice would be gratefully appreciated. I can out walk most of my friends. Its the stairs and unstable grounds to walk on. Most of the pain is caused where the patella once was.

Had TKA Right knee on 03-27-2012. Had extreme pain in muscle above knee cap. Original surgeon would do nothing. Went for second option, Dr. did a merchant view x-ray, and stated the patella out of position, riding too high and to the inside. 2 surgeries later still having same problems. They are now talking about taking out the patella. Can this problem cause so much pain, and can I walk normally without the patella. Would appreciate any comments. Thanks, Dennis
Dennis Rondeau
Sept. 29th, 2014 I went in to surgery to repair a torn meniscus, the doctor mistakenly removed my knee cap. Then he told me I needed a total knee replacement, complete with a artificial patella. Like a fool I let the Butcher talk me into it. Oct. 15th, 2014 had total knee replacement, had leg in knee immobilizer for 6 weeks. So much scar tissue built up around knee, no amount of therapy could break it free. New surgeon said to wait 6 months for knee to heal, then open it up to remove scar tissue. Then aggressive therapy. If this does'nt work,my next option is amputation. At least then I could get the stump out of the way when needed (like seating in a plane seat). Any comments or advice would be appreciated.
I had my kneecap removed in 1986 after being hit by a car while riding my bicycle. I landed on my rt knee and completely shattered it. I was a collegiate runner at the time, but no longer after that day. I have largely been fortunate in that I have been able to keep up my favorite activities - hiking and running. I still run half marathons near 30 yrs later (albeit pretty slowly), but the imbalance due to loss of strength and looseness in the joint is taking it's toll as each year goes by. My left leg has taken the brunt of the work over the years and it is beginning to break down (hip, knee, foot, lower back). As this happens the weakness in my right leg with the patellectomy is becoming even more obvious and disconcerting. It is not uncommon for me to dislocate my rt knee. It used to hurt and swell when that happened, but I think the joint is so loose that it now becomes just a bit sore for a day or two - nice in one way, disconcerting in another. Funny thing is if I do not exercise I get such a cramping pain in my rt knee area that it is near unbearable. 6 weeks ago my dogs were rough housing and accidentally clipped me from behind, in my efforts to try not to fall and dislocate again I pulled my rt quad. The doctors where I live find me interesting and an anomaly, but really do not know how to treat me. My online research seems to indicate that quad tears are tougher to heal in patellectomy cases because the muscles do not run in the plane of most effectiveness, hampering recovery. Again, I mostly feel fortunate and after research there really was no other option than patellectomy in my case, but I severely worry as I age what the long term effects will be.
pratik patel
Doc removed my patella because of accident fracture but noe i can walk easily my leg turn propertly bu can i run with doing exercise or using some belt or anything i can stand on my only leg that in accident i can give weight on ot but can i run not fast but somewhat
Anne Lewis
I had total replacements in both knees in 2001 and 2003. I still experienced a lot of pain and both knees had to be operated again, and buttons was put in behind the patella as my doctor said that was the reason that I still had pain. Although I was never, completely pain-free. I had a good 10 year time period of being mobile. I am 78 years old and have osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. So when I started experiencing severe pain. Since 2012 my pain got worse and eventually a full Patte[[ectomy and replacement of the bearing in the prestige is was done for months ago. While my leg was still in the immobiliser brace the pain was much better, but since the brace was removed. I am now experiencing a lot of pain. I walk and do exercises every day. Yet I am still having a lot of pain. Is there any hope that it can get better? I feel quite disparate at this stage as my left knee is also giving problems and I was hoping that I could also have the operation and at least have a couple of years without this excruciating pain that I am living with. Please give me advice.
I had total kneecap removal one year ago. I am 66 and it was removed because I fell and it shattered. I ride my bike, I walk, and I am in no pain, so there is hope for many of you. I am sorry for those that have pain, but wanted to add the good news. The only time I really notice it is when I climb stairs and have to use the railing to pull myself up a bit. No pain though. I have achieved full leg extension. many times it seems those with pain had the kneecap removed due to pain and arthritis, and mine was not removed for those reasons. So I had a healthy knee going into surgery except the kneecap was shattered.
ted gosney
i had a pattellectomy in 1978 and generally its been fine but now im having problems with the other Knee (The Bad one is fine)
ive has an xray and it shows no arthritus or damage. i also suffer lower back pains
could this be over compensation and alignment issues. My last physio said something about Bio-mechanics
has anybody else suffered with this and whats the treatment
I had an accident in 2007 & had to have several operation including a bone graft & finally a patellactomy. I have great difficulties in moving without a walking aid as my leg just buckles. I recently fell & injured the same leg & have extreme pain. I was a person without any complications before my accident. Due to the operations i have developed arthritis. Is this possible & why does this happen.Can anyone advise what i can do for pain. How can i gain strength on this leg
Gene Avino
I had bilateral knee replacement inJuly 2012. Lat year I developed an infection and had to have a knee revision done on my right leg. Everything went well after March surgery and recuperation was uneventful. I had a six month exam yesterday(Sept 24) and x rays were taken again. The x ray showed my patella to be fractured into many pieces. My doctor had me straighten out my leg which i did easy. I have no pain. The Dr asked if I remember any incident of pain and I could not recollect anything. I walk well, climb stairs, work in the yard and golf(shot 39 for nine holes Monday). My Dr is dumbfounded saying that straightening the leg should be impossible and that I should have instability or pain of some sort. We are in a wait and see posture. X rays in April showed an in tact knee cap. Does anyone have any ideas.
Gabriella Loftus
I have still struggled without a left patella, I do still workout 5 days a week. I can not develop my left front thigh muscle at all...

I find it difficult to still do stairs most of the time and my knee gives at anytime without notice. Even in flats?? I was thinking of purchasing an electronic muscle stimulator for the thigh?? Has anyone tired this before other than at physical therapy? I found physical therapy not really informed of this procedure..
Gene Avino:
It was important to my doctor that I had full leg extension after surgery. So if you have it now after casting then you should be fine :) Good luck in your recovery! I golf as well, its just the stabilizing and strengthening the front thigh muscle I have problems with..
Boyfriend doesnt have a knee cap due to it being crushed in a horrible motorcycle accident 6 yrs ago, along with 17 other bones. His whole knee was crushed in the accident, not just the patella/cap. He is now 32 yrs old and in extreme pain. He was told he can't have a total knee replacement due to the fact he doesn't have a kneecap. Supposedly they use your existing kneecap for your total knee replacement but what if you dont have an existing knee cap? I cant imagine they dont have the technology to make an artificial knee cap. Unless the quack who told him this was full of it. Do they make artificial patellas?
Hello everyone. I had my right paternal removed in 2002. Lately I have been experiencing a great deal of burning in the area. The level of pain has also increased. I have also noticed that my leg seems to buckle more nowadays, causing me to be more cautious of every step. I have tried through my insurance company to find a doctor to check it out, but no one wants to go in behind someone else's work. I am at a loss as to what to do.
Lorraine Steyl
Hi all. I had my knee cap removed when I was 17 now 72 at beginning it does give way but do exercise by putting bag of potatoes ,tin and sit on chair and left your leg up straight with bag over foot. I have never had problems had amazing Doctor. My trouble now is I have no cartilage over bone now must be care full I don't twist my knee other than that I walk fine as normal. I have never had replacement which they say is next step.
Following an accident, the third operation on my knee was complete knee cap removal, this was back in the late 80s when I was in my early 30s. I was in full plaster for 2 months, then spent 5 months full time at a rehab hospital doing extensive physiotherapy and learning to walk again. One of the first and most painful exercises was straight leg raises ( laying on my back and keeping my leg straight & raising it up and down) I had tears running down my face with the pain of it! I think it took c2 years to build the quads muscles and stabilise my knee allowing me to return to playing & competing in sports, cycling, swimming, triathlon. Walking down steep hills is challenging but one sport rowing- the imbalance in my legs makes no difference. The key to success is having a good consultant surgeon, good physiotherapist, & be prepared to do all of the exercises, hourly, daily and work hard through the pain of the physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles. That worked for me.
I am 63 years old and had my right kneecap totally removed in 1969. The only things that I have struggled with since, causing me considerable pain, are kneeling and sitting when I do not have room to extend my knee, such as cinema seats. I have skied, played match badminton, parachuted, and still cycle and hill walk. I try to avoid knee impact sports such as running. I have always found that it's important to maintain good strength in the quad muscles so regular exercise in the gym has helped to stabilise the knee.
I had my kneecap removed in May 16 2016 and it has been painful and sometimes stressful because you might think you wont be able to walk right again or something else. But im my case is been 5 months sence the accident and im able to walk normal still cant run but i can ride a bike and i work out everyother day. All im trying to say is just be patient and do your exercises.
I fell and shattered my kneecap in August 2016 requiring a patellectomy. While healing I found this forum and was sad to see so many people having trouble after the surgery but then I realized that forums often are negative because people with good results do not participate. My experience has been quite good and I offer it only as encouragement. Four months after surgery I have walked two miles and traversed ten flights of stairs. Quad muscle still hurts when going down stairs but is getting better as it strengthens. Official therapy is over but I duplicate the exercises at home. Had to take Pradaxa due to blood clot and side effect of fatigue was unpleasant. Pain level never required more than Tylenol. I expect to continue PT myself for at least another year and beyond as needed. My surgeon said to reserve judgment of his work until a year after the surgery. I really would have preferred not falling and having this experience but stuff happens. I cannot comment on the long term but I can say a 68 year old can resume life after the surgery.
Roberta Lewis
Where are the answers to all these questions!!!
Great questions, but no information
Ok, I had my knees cap removed 40 years ago due to recurring dislocations I have had absolutely zero compilations I can walk, run, climb stairs the only limitation are the ones you sit yourself. You control it don’t let it control you!
In 1999 after a car crash I had my left knee cap removed. I have full extension and no restricted movement at all. 18 months after the op I returned to football and played for til I was too old/rubbish! I run 10ks and tough runners. All was great til 2 years ago I had a violent click. This violent click would happen randomly and sometimes floor me. Had ultra sound scan, MRI and the end results...knee specialist wasnt interested because no surgery was needed and the head physio told me that he had no idea how my knee worked so it was now up to me to manage it! I feel very depressed now 2 years down the line, a knee that had been great is now unpredictable with aching pain and no one seems to be able to help or explain what has happened.
No answers to all the questions.I am one after many surgeries for tires gone bad lost patella no one wants to touch me,can’t get rehab,second opinions,can’t walk without an aid.any answers?
I am now 75 years old and had menisectomy @ 17 & bilateral pattelectomies when I was 18 & 20, Did well for many years but have lost quad strength gradually. Now have issues with stairs and getting out of chairs. Pain is not usually a problem.
Having been born with high kneecaps and experiencing recurrent dislocation since I was 10, had my first surgery on my left knee in 2015, what followed would be another 5 surgerys to fix the problem. However to no avail, had to have my knee cap completely removed in 2018. Been 8 months since then and I can say it's so much better than before, it was hard work tho, having no muscle left before the surgery to serve pain and not being able to exercise prior, it's was a nightmare that I thought would never end. That being said I'm able to do straight leg raises, walk up and down stairs no problem, with still only 5 degrees left walking, With the help of a special brace that stops me from straightening at a certain degree.

My question is, I'm having a full knee cap removal this October 2019 on my right knee. Wondered if anyone else has had both out and what the experience has been like? Tho I expect much better recovery on my right knee as all my muscles are really strong, tho been getting chronic patella femoral pain last few months.

Personally I think double amputation should be the better option as I can't see any quality of life during the later stages of life with no kneecaps.
Linda Vannozzi
I am 59 and had double patellectomy around age 29. My kneecaps had worn down to 1/3 their size. Chronic dislocation due to legs not being aligned perfect. (We think). Hard to really know but patellectomy stopped frequent falling. I did not do daily leg strengthening and now paying the price. My quads are weak and I am starting to fall forward frequently onto my knees. I love to walk and hike with family but it’s getting to be impossible to enjoy. My ankle weights are helping but I just realized tonight I might not be strengthening proper quads in spite of what my PT recommends. So I’m concentrating on inner quad. I think it’s distal medialis...My surgeon 30 years ago did a superb job in Rochester, NY. I should have taken his advice on strength training more seriously. Any PT I have seen has been impressed. I hope my story helps others. I agree kneecap removal is serious and debilitating if you aren’t careful with good surgeon and post self care. Thank you
I have had a knee cap removed after more than 13 key hole surgery op's. It is to risky to have a replacement as was to young and have had Type 1 Diabetes for more than 30 years then. Op was done in 2004 it is now 2020 and still ok. I fractured knee cap and then joined out of alignment due to car accident. I had had Cruciate Ligament replaced. It is now 2020 had Diabetes 50 years and no knee cap 16 years and still ok. I just wear a knee support from PHYSIO ROOM (Black with cushioning pad for knee area, straps and hinges either side that bend) I have used these for years having to replace about 4 - 5 years as Velcro straps not sticking. This works well , so it is safe to have no knee cap just care. Best if you can to build up thigh muscles to take body weight as lessen strain on knees.
Chuck H
I had my right patella removed because of car accident in 1971. I was 24 year old. Very painful recovery the first few days. Had a full leg cast on for the first month after surgery. Had minimal pain for the first year but a slight limp. Kept up exercising and didn't let the removal of my kneecap keep me down. At 30 (1980) I did some running, but had to stop because of pain in my knee. Started biking in 1984 and found out it was something I could do without pain in my knee. I am now 73 and I still bike, do some hiking, golf, and keep my legs strong with squats etc. I believe keeping active and keeping my weight down is the secret to my living without much pain or problems with my patella removed.
My mom had her kneecap removed due to an injury when she was a young teen she’s 57 now and suffers from excruciating pain from it every day And due to this her other knee is now starting to suffer because she is putting more of her weight on her good knee and they won’t do any replacement because they say she is too young and it’s not bad enough to have done yet even though her bad knee with no kneecap is bone on bone right now I’m trying to get a second opinion for her I am her son Jason and it’s hard for me to see my mom in such excruciating pain every day like I said she’s only 57 and she’s already walking around with a cane and the way she barks is as if she is in her 90s is there any doctors out there or people with similar experiences that could direct us in the right path I would like to see another doctor to get a second opinion for her it is truly hard to see her like this please here is my email

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