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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3728425, 3 pages
Case Report

A Rare Case of an Irreducible Patella Dislocation

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 676 N. Saint Clair St No. 1350, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Received 25 July 2016; Accepted 21 September 2016

Academic Editor: Dante Amato

Copyright © 2016 Dimitri E. Delagrammaticas and Scott D. Cordes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reports of irreducible patellar dislocations are exceedingly sparse throughout the literature. Obvious radiographic or physical exam findings including fracture or inversion of the patella are often present to explain the block to reduction. Not described previously in the literature is the instance of an irreducible patella dislocation in the setting of innocuous appearing injury imaging. We present a case of a healthy thirty-two-year-old female who sustained an irreducible lateral patella dislocation while participating in a dance aerobics class. Closed means of reduction were unsuccessful, necessitating open reduction. Intraoperative findings suggest incarceration of a nondisplaced fracture and a chondral defect as the block to reduction. Following open reduction, the patient has had no further episodes of pain or instability related to the patella at one-year follow-up. Irreducible patellar dislocations are exceedingly rare injuries, where associated osseous or chondral lesions may necessitate open reduction despite innocuous appearing initial imaging. A high index of suspicion to proceed with open reduction may limit repeated attempts at closed reduction and further injury.