Patellofemoral instability may occur in a young population as a result of injury during sporting activities. This review focuses on return to sport after one episode of dislocation treated no operatively and as well after surgery for chronic patellofemoral instability. With or without surgery, only two-thirds of patients return to sports at the same level as prior to injury. A high-quality rehabilitation programme using specific exercises is the key for a safe return to sporting activities. To achieve this goal, recovery of muscle strength and dynamic stability of the lower limbs is crucial. The focus should be directed to strengthen the quadriceps muscle and pelvic stabilizers, as well as lateral trunk muscle training. Patient education and regularly performed home exercises are other key factors that can lead to a successful return to sports. The criteria for a safe return to sports include the absence of pain, no effusion, a complete range of motion, almost symmetrical strength, and excellent dynamic stability.
Level of evidence IV.