Patella alta

Patella alta, or a high riding patella, describes a situation where the position of the patella is considered high. It may be idiopathic or may result secondary to a patellar tendon rupture



Several conditions are known to be associated with patella alta, including:

  • idiopathic retropatellar pain 5
  • recurrent dislocation of the patella 2
  • chondromalacia patellae 2
  • knee joint effusion 2

Patella alta may also occur as a result of spastic cerebral palsy 6.

Radiographic features

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

On radiography, it is important that standard positioning is used, with the knee flexed at 30 degrees. An off-angle x-ray beam or non-standard positioning may result in a spuriously abnormal ratio.

Knee pathology

The knee is a complex synovial joint that can be affected by a range of pathologies:

Article information

rID: 13055
Section: Gamuts
Tag: knee, knee
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • High-riding patella
  • High riding patella

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: Modified Insall-Salvati index 2.2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 5: secondary to a patella tendon rupture
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 6
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 7
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 8
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 9
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.