Lateral Tracking Patella
The patella is held in place and supported by a series of tendons and muscles. When functioning properly, the tendons and muscles stretch and recover as the joint is moved to maintain even patella tracking in the femoral groove. The combination of the patella, quadriceps and tendons is referred to as the patella-femoral complex. When properly aligned, pressure is evenly distributed on the back of the patella. When there is a condition that causes any of the supporting tendons or muscles to loosen or tighten the patella can be thrown off track. When the patella is off track it no longer glides easily against the femur. Joint movement can be more difficult and painful. If left untreated, degeneration of the cartilage on the underside of the patella can result.