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OBJECTIVE: Synthesize evidence on objectively quantified lower limb strength recovery in people treated surgically or non-surgically after patellar dislocation. METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, SPORTDiscus, PEDro, AMED and CINAHL databases were last searched on July 30th, 2020 for randomized controlled trials and observational studies that objectively quantified lower limb strength in people (any age or sex) treated surgically or non-surgically after patellar dislocation. RESULTS: 24 studies were included (877 participants, median age 20.7). All assessed knee extension strength, 11 knee flexion strength, three hip abduction strength, two hip external rotation strength, and one hip flexion, extension, adduction, and internal rotation strength. One randomized controlled trial judged at high risk of bias and two cohort studies with methodological limitations compared lower limb strength recovery between surgically and non-surgically treated people, with conflicting findings. After surgery, median long-term (>8 months) knee extension strength was 82.5% (IQR 78.5-88.2; 13 studies) of the unaffected leg and knee flexion strength was 91.5% (IQR 90.7-96.9; five studies). After non-surgical treatment, median long-term knee extension strength was 86% (IQR 79.3-87.4; four studies) and mean flexion strength ranged from 95.2 to 96.7% (two studies). Mean hip strength was always >90% (two studies). Two redislocations during eccentric isokinetic knee testing and knee pain during isokinetic knee extension testing were reported as adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Available evidence indicates that after patellar dislocation, knee extension strength deficits in the affected limb are frequently observed and can persist long term, but this remains uncertain due to the limitations of relevant included studies. Whether lower limb strength recovery differs between people treated surgically and those treated non-surgically after patellar dislocation also remains uncertain. TRIAL REGISTRATION: (PROSPERO CRD42019139533).

Original publication




Journal article


Phys ther sport

Publication Date





110 - 138


Conservative, Kneecap, Muscle, Patellofemoral, Adult, Exercise Therapy, Humans, Knee Joint, Lower Extremity, Patella, Range of Motion, Articular, Young Adult