Kneecap Dislocation: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 19. February 2016 11:31

When the bone covering the knee (patella) gets out of place in the patellofemoral groove, it is referred to as Kneecap Dislocation. In certain cases, the kneecap may also partially move out of its original position, known as subluxation. Severe Kneecap Dislocation may even cause an injury to the ligaments.


  • Major trauma such as a fall, high-speed injury or car crash
  • A previous dislocation
  • Inherited tendency for the kneecap to slide
  • Sudden twisting or pivoting of the leg


  • Buckling of the knee
  • Inability to support body weight
  • Pain in the front part of the knee that worsens with activity
  • Stiffness and inflammation
  • Kneecap may slip off the side


Imaging tests such as X-rays may be conducted by the knee doctor to ensure that there is no fracture. An arteriogram may also be ordered to look for arterial injuries. The doctor may also diagnose any associated nerve damage by checking for numbness in specific muscle groups.


Since a knee dislocation mostly involves sprains and tears in the ligaments, reconstruction surgery is required to regain normal motion of the knee movement.

  • Ice packs: Application of ice packs to the injured area may help in controlling the pain and inflammation
  • Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to provide relief from pain and discomfort.
  • Immobilization: The doctor may recommend wearing a knee brace or splint to restrict the movement of the affected joint.
  • Exercise: Performing light stretching and strengthening exercises, as recommended by the physical therapist, may help to regain the joint functionality.
  • Relocation: In this procedure, the doctor may move back the patella to its original position. This process, also known as reduction, may be conducted after administering pain medication or conscious sedation to the patient. Relocation may help to repair the damage to ligaments, blood vessels and tissues in the knee.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention may be required in case there is any arterial damage. Repairing the injured vessels is necessary to maintain adequate blood flow in the leg.

After the surgery, the knee joint may be kept in a splint or an immobilizer to let it heal properly. This prevents the knee from bending and aids in repair of the tissues. Also, immobilization reduces the probability of injuring the kneecap again.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Kneecap Dislocation, visit OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeons, call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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