The unstable kneecap - the impact of anatomy on function

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    SPRING: Surgery for Patellofemoral Instability, is there Normal Gait



  • Contact name

    Caroline Hing

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    St George's, University of London

  • Identifier


  • Identifier

    15/SC/0512, NRES South central Berkshire REC reference; 15/SC/0656, NRES South central Berkshire REC reference

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 0 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Dislocating or unstable kneecaps affect young, active patients with an incidence of 43/100,000 resulting in further dislocation in 40% of patients. This causes pain and damages the cartilage causing arthritis in later life. Each time the kneecap dislocates, patients need to take time off work and sports to recover.

    The kneecap moves up and down in a groove on the thigh bone as the knee bends. The shallower the groove, the more likely that the kneecap dislocates as the knee bends. Our study aims to look at how the shape of the kneecap and the groove it sits in are related to how the kneecap moves during walking.

    We will study which everyday activities make the kneecap dislocate and whether current surgery helps to stop dislocations. In a laboratory we will use cameras to study how the kneecap moves whilst walking on a treadmill (gait analysis). We will also study how the muscles work using recording devices (electromyography). During surgery we will use cameras, lasers and pressure pads to see how the kneecap moves before surgery and after surgery to stop dislocation.

    We will use the information from routine scans taken before surgery together with gait analysis, pressure maps and electromyography to understand how to tailor surgery to a patient's specific knee shape to stop the kneecap dislocating.

    The aim is to improve surgery by using computer software to develop patient specific blocks to use during the surgery to deepen the thigh bone groove to the best shape to stop the kneecap from dislocating. This is similar to using a pattern in tailoring to cut the material to fit a specific person.

  • REC name

    South Central - Berkshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    14 Dec 2015

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion