A knee cap or patella dislocation is a common injury often caused by a blow or sudden change in the knee’s direction when your leg is placed on the floor. It usually occurs during impactful activities or sports such as football, basketball, lacrosse, dancing, etc.
The knee cap is also known as the patella. It sits at the front of your knee. When you bend or straighten your leg, it glides over the groove in your joint. If your knee cap is dislocated, it may come out of this groove. The other parts of the knee can also be damaged due to a dislocated knee cap such as a meniscus tears or ACL ( anterior cruciate ligament) that may occur at the same time as a knee cap dislocation.
If you have experienced a dislocated knee cap injury, then it could take you about six to nine weeks to heal completely. It is a long time, especially for athletes and sportspeople, which may adversely affect their careers. This article will discuss knee cap dislocations, their symptoms and briefly outline the available treatments for such injuries.
When a knee is dislocated, you will observe that it is out of place at an odd angle. However, in many cases, it will pop back soon after. The following are some other symptoms of knee cap dislocations:
There are various treatments for dislocated knee cap injuries depending upon the condition and severity of the injury. For example, in some cases, the patient’s knee cap may relocate before he gets any medical help, while for others, it may remain dislocated until they get help from a surgeon or physician to help relocate it.
There are two types of treatments for a dislocated knee cap.
We will discuss both of them in sequence in this article. So let’s get started.
The majority of dislocated knee caps can be treated with various non-surgical methods. Some of the commonest non-surgical treatments are as follows:
When suffering from a knee cap, dislocation, anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medications are prescribed, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce pain and inflammation. If you are suffering from severe pain, then analgesics (such as acetaminophen), or pain medications without inflammation properties can also be prescribed to reduce pain.
Rice stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate. When an athlete is injured, this is the first response treatment to his injury in most cases.
In some cases, the knee cap may move to its original position on its own when you try to instigate movement with your legs. If not, then a physician can try to move the kneecap manually to bring it back to its original position.
There is a fluid present in our knee joints. If the fluid is present is in excessive amounts, the physician may try to aspirate the joint by removing this fluid with a syringe. The fluid can also be used to check infection if the knee dislocation had caused an open wound in the knee.
If the knee cap is relocated on its own, then to prevent it from re-dislocation, patients may be placed in a cast or a brace for a specified time period.
Sometimes crutches can be used both by athletes and others to help reduce the pressure on the knee joint and patella.
At times, the knee cap dislocation is severe and recurrent in some cases, or if the recurrent dislocation has caused damage to the nearby structures like tendons, cartilages, and ligaments. In that case, surgery may be necessary to relocate the knee cap and to fix the damage inflicted to the surrounding structures. Some common surgeries for dislocated knee caps are as follows:
In this type of surgery, a small camera is inserted inside your knee joint. The projected images are used to determine what the problem actually is and what kind of damage has been caused by the knee dislocation. It gives the physicians a clear idea of how they should treat the injury so that it heals quickly.
This type of surgery is often performed after the arthroscopic surgery. This treatment is used to repair or remove any damaged cartilage and to realign the dislocated knee cap. Damaged ligaments that predispose to the recurrent dislocation are also repaired during this process.( most commonly the MPFL ligament )
The surgical treatments are followed by a series of physical therapy sessions. These activities are required to strengthen the knee joints and surrounding muscles before you start doing any physical activities, especially for athletes. The extent of these therapies is decided based on the severity of the knee cap dislocation and the treatment method used to relocate it.
Dislocated knee caps are relatively common injuries and they can happen to anyone and anywhere. Most often, people who are more involved in sports and other physical activities are more likely to experience such injuries. There are plenty of treatments available for the treatment of dislocated knee caps. In this article, we discussed a few of them. If you would like to know more about available treatments for dislocated knee caps, then please contact Dr.GowreesonThevendran or visit www.orthofootMD.com.