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Patella alta

A patella alta (or a high riding patella) describes a situation where the position of patella is considered high. It can be idiopathic or can result secondary to a patellar tendon rupture.


Several conditions are known to have a high association with a patella alta, which include:

  • idiopathic retro-patellar pain 5
  • recurrent dislocation of the patella 2
  • chondromalacia patellae 2
  • knee joint effusion 2

Radiographic features

On sagittal images it is usually considered when the Insall-Salvati ratio is greater than 1.3 - 1.5 1-3.

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