Fifty-eight athletically active study participants with 69 knees that had experienced patellar dislocations were available for followup after being selected for a functional rehabilitation program without antecedent immobilization. Follow-up evaluation was at a minimum of 24 months after onset of treatment and averaged 46.2 months. Good or excellent results occurred in 39 (66%) knees treated after an initial patellar dislocation and in 15 (50%) knees with a chronic history of patellar instability. Twenty-six percent of the 69 knees had experienced recurrent patellar instability at followup. Overall, 42 patients (73%) were satisfied with their knees after this nonsurgical management. Anatomic predisposition and onset of bilateral instability at an early age were found to be significant factors associated with a less favorable outcome.