As the name suggests, this is when the kneecap (patella) does not run properly in the groove on the front of the knee (trochlear). There are many causes for this including muscle imbalance in the quadriceps, maldevelopment of the trochlear or patella, malrotation of the femur and foot pathology. The main symptom of maltracking is pain but severe maltracking may be the underlying cause for recurrent patellar dislocation. Chronic maltracking over many years may lead to patello-femoral arthritis.
The treatment for patellar maltracking is addressed to it’s underlying cause and treatments range from physiotherapy and insoles to major reconstructive surgery.