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Ask the Sports Doc: Popping a cap

I am a 22-year-old female with a history of multiple knee-cap dislocations. It is now to the point where it “pops” out every other day. I have tried rehab and bracing but it did not help. Will surgery fix my problem?

Dr. Patel writes: It sounds as though you may benefit from surgery. Just remember, with any surgery there is never a 100 percent guarantee.

Ligaments around your patella are not as tight as they should be and also the bony alignment may not be optimal. This can lead to inappropriate tracking and subsequent dislocations of the knee-cap. Surgery for your knee would entail realigning your patella so it tracks inside the grove. This can help prevent the patella from dislocating. You will need to participate in a good rehab program after the surgery to gain your strength back.

How to keep your bones healthy

435 and 50 years old:

You may have begun to gradually lose bone. At this stage in your life, getting enough calcium (1,000 mg each day) and exercise are crucial to keep bone loss to a minimum. Most women enter menopause between the ages of 42 and 55. If your period becomes irregular or if you develop signs of menopause, talk with your physician. You also might want to ask about bone density screening examinations.

4Over 50 years old:

For women who have gone through menopause, they may be losing bone at a rate of one to six percent per year. Ask your physician about the various therapies on the market, and if it is appropriate for you.

Adequate calcium intake and exercise still are important. You should be getting 1,000 mg of calcium each day. If you rarely get out in the sun, vitamin D also may be recommended. Try to walk, jog or perform a resistance workout for at least 20 minutes, three times a week.