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Things to Know About Dislocated Kneecap

A dislocated kneecap (patella bone) takes place when the bone covering the knee joint get misplaced and dislocated from the current position. It may also be referred to as patellar dislocation. A dislocated kneecap is very common in athletes playing high-impact sports. These sports require the foot to be planted and the upper body to change directions, thereby leading to such incidents. This injury is more common in women and in younger athletes.

Dislocated Kneecap Symptoms

According to an experienced orthopedic doctor, common symptoms of dislocated kneecap include –

  • Severe pain, tenderness around the knee area
  • Immediate swelling of the knee joint
  • Visible displacement of the knee joint
  • Inability to straighten your leg/ knee joint
  • Inability to support your weight
  • Knee appears to be deformed

Also read about signs and symptoms of Knee Joint Dislocation

Initial Treatment

It is advisable to not step into its treatment and look for first aid and medical supervision immediately. Try straightening your knee and once medical help has reached, be very clear of narrating the entire incident appropriately. The health care provider will examine your knee and might advise for a knee X-ray and sometimes MRI. This may confirm that the kneecap is dislocated. Detailed diagnosis is done to assess the internal impact of the jerk that has caused this dislocation including checking for a broken bone or cartilage damage. If the tests rule out any damage, your knee would be placed into an immobilizer or cast to prevent further damage from moving it. This cast or immobilizer may be put on for considerable period of time which is usually around 3 weeks.

Once this initial period is over, you may be advised to refer a physiotherapist who would advise specific physical therapy to build back muscle strength and improving knee’s range of motion.

If the damage has been deep and has affected bone and cartilage then you may be advised to undergo surgery to stabilize the dislocated kneecap, which may be done using arthroscopic or open surgery. Also, the surgery may be advised in cases of recurrent dislocations or severe knee joint damage.

If you or someone in the family is into sports then know more about Sports Injury FAQs.

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