What Are The Symptoms Of Patellar Dislocation
Your child may or may not complain of pain with a patellar dislocation. In a partial dislocation, your child may complain of a feeling like the kneecap is sliding around when they run or are active. Afterward, it may pop back in place. You or your child may hear a popping or grinding sound in the knee.
Complete dislocations can be painful. The knee may look misshapen or appear swollen. A displaced kneecap may cause the knee to buckle and can lead to a fall. If a young child appears to fall frequently when running, you should have a doctor rule out kneecap disorders that may cause slight instability in the knee.
Why Do We Hear A Pop
The most common noise we hear is the air that builds and forms bubbles between the joints. When you stretch the joint, you’ll hear a “pop” noise as it releases. There’s no evidence that this causes any harm to the joints. So, most people just continue with their activity after hearing it. But a pop can also cause pain or mean something more.
The body has a lot of moving parts, literally. But for a pop to happen, you need bones, ligaments, and muscles. These body components can break or tear. When that happens, they create an audible noise.
How Long Before I Can Bend My Knee After Dislocation
Full recovery after kneecap dislocation occurs within six to eight weeks. Initially, you will not be allowed to put weight on the affected knee and will be asked to refrain from moving your knee.
As the pain and swelling subside, exercises will be given to help you gradually return to your normal activities.
In mild cases, knee bending and weight-bearing on the affected leg may be possible after a week or two.
Before performing strenuous exercises or activities such as running and jumping, make sure that the injured knee is pain-free and functions the same way as your uninjured leg.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Do For Water On The Knee
How Painful Is A Dislocated Patella
Dislocations are often very painful, but there is a range. It depends how far out of joint the bone has been forced, and how much the surrounding muscles and ligaments, blood vessels and nerves have been injured. It will always be painful to move the dislocated joint or bear weight on it. You wont be able to use the limb normally until the joint has been corrected.
If your dislocated patella corrects itself, your pain and mobility may improve. But you should still see your healthcare provider. Theyll check for secondary injury to the ligaments and guide you through the longer rehabilitation process.
My Knee Feels Like It Needs To Pop
Weve all been there and weve all had that uncomfortable feeling the feeling that there is so much pressure building up behind your knee that is needs to snap back into place. Thats how it feels like your knee feels like it needs to pop.
The good news is that usually, a popping knee isnt something you should be overly worried about, and for the most part is something that can be put down to general wear and tear. Although our bodies are machines that work well, occasionally things will go a little awry. A popping knee is one example of this.
Don’t Miss: Nano Knee Surgery Cost
What Causes My Knee To Pop And Hurt When Taking
See your doctor if you have a cracking or cracking sound that causes pain or swelling. This could be a sign: a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a C-shaped elastic disc that cushions the knee and acts as a shock absorber. It also helps distribute the weight evenly so that the bones don’t rub against each other.
Why Do My Knees Pop A Look Into Knee Anatomy:
So, the knees may pop and get in a certain position with certain activities such as walking, leaning forward, bending the knee, squatting down, etc. There are lots of things in the knee that can contribute to this popping sensation, so we must think about all the components of the knee. First, we have the bones: the femur , the tibia , the fibula and the patella. So, the relation of the bones to each other could be a potential source.
Next, you have cartilage between the femur and the tibia on both the inside, which we call medial, and the outside, which we call lateral. There is also cartilage between the kneecap and the trochlear area on the femur as well as between the tibia and the fibula.
Next, we have meniscal tissue where you have a lateral meniscus on the outside and the medial meniscus on the inside.
We have ligaments that are like duct tape that hold the bones together for the ligaments deep within the joint like the ACL and PCL, superficial ligaments such as the LCL and MCL just to name some.
Next, there are are the tendons. The tendons are the structures that attach the muscles to the bones, such as the quad tendon, and the patellar tendon.
Lastly, we have the actual muscles that help move the knee, such as the quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Swelling After Total Knee Replacement
Learn What Conditions Cause A Knee Pop And How To Treat Them
Hearing a pop in the knee can be alarming, especially if you notice swelling or pain directly following. Similarly, a pop in the knee with no swelling afterwards may cause you confusion and make you wonder if you need to be concerned at all. While this mysterious noise might be nothing to worry about, taking measures to treat the possible injury will hinder its progression.
The knee specialists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have diagnosed and treated plenty of knee pops during their time in the field of orthopaedics. We understand that the uncertainty of this symptom can cause patients stress. For this reason, we want to keep our patients as informed as possible by providing clear communication, expert advice, and the most advanced methods of treatment.
Common Conditions That May Cause Popping Knees:
It could be something as simple as just some air bubbles that are in the joint fluid causing some of the sensations.
- Mistracking of the kneecap in relation to the femur. This is what we call patellofemoral syndrome.
- Osteoarthritis or cartilage degeneration or fraying.
- Ligament or tendon snapping, either due to injury here because of a spur.
- Scar tissue, perhaps from prior surgery.
- Abnormal synovial fluid within the joint.
- Abnormal synovium, or the lining of the knee can be inflamed.
- Meniscal tear could be a cause.
- Then if you do have that catching or locking sensation that could be potentially a be tear of the meniscus that causes the meniscus to become out of place or flipped, such as a flap tear or buckethandle tear.
- Also, it can be a loose body that is a broken off a piece of tissue such as cartilage, bone or meniscus that is floating in the joint causing problems.
Don’t Miss: What Rebuilds Cartilage
Recovering From A Dislocated Kneecap
During the first few days, you can help reduce any swelling by keeping your leg elevated when sitting and holding an ice pack to your knee for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.
A physiotherapist will teach you some exercises to do at home to strengthen the muscles that stabilise your kneecap and improve the movement of your knee.
The splint should only be kept on for comfort and should be removed to do these exercises as soon as you’re able to move your leg.
It usually takes about 6 weeks to fully recover from a dislocated kneecap, although sometimes it can take a bit longer to return to sports or other strenuous activities.
Ask your GP, consultant or physiotherapist for advice about returning to your normal activities.
Can I Pop My Knee Back Into Place
You cannot pop your knee back into place if you have knee dislocation. However, if it is only the kneecap that is dislocated and the injury is mild, the kneecap might be able to pop back into place by itself. Do not try to pop it back yourself as this may only result in further damage.
If your kneecap returns to its place by itself, it is still best to go to a doctor to have your knee checked. This is to ensure that you will be given proper treatment and to prevent further complications.
Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows
Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
The PCL is located in the back of the knee and connects the big thigh bone to the big shin bone . It keeps the tibia from moving backwards. An injury to the PCL requires a huge force, making it much rarer than an ACL tear.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: constant knee pain, severe knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain from an injury, swollen knee
Symptoms that always occur with posterior cruciate ligament injury: inability to bear weight immediately after injury, pain in one knee, knee pain from an injury, severe knee pain, constant knee pain
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
What Do I Do If I Have A Patella Dislocation
If you havent already then please go to your local hospital emergency department and get it relocated!
Fortunately, most dislocations will relocate spontaneously when you straighten your leg, like my sisters. After this initial injury, still use the principles of RICE .
You may experience some symptoms apart from pain, such as numbness, or tingling. If it resolves reasonably quickly then there is no reason to be concerned.
Its generally recommended to brace the knee straight for a couple of weeks after a patella dislocation to allow the ligaments time to heal. This principle holds true across most acute injuries the joint is immobilised, so the fibres that are torn have a chance to repair.
There are a couple of ways to do this either a brace, or a taping strategy, which glides the kneecap in.
After the initial immobilisation I have found three easy keys to recovery:
Recommended Reading: Can I Regrow Cartilage In My Knee
How To Crack Your Knee
Calf relaxation exercise to get rid of a cracked knee: This exercise helps to reduce muscle tension through direct pressure. A simple stretch will only stretch or lengthen the muscle, but the muscle relaxation technique activates tight muscles and makes them more balanced, helping to heal a knee tear.
Ballet Squats Or Plies For Knees
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Cellulite Above My Knees
Is A Dislocated Kneecap Serious
A dislocated kneecap isnt usually serious and by following a programme of physiotherapy, 80% of patients will never have another problem with their knee.
You can also help protect your knees by losing weight, strengthening them through exercise, and eating healthily. For more information, read our article on How to protect andstrengthen your hips and knees.
How Do Doctors Diagnose A Knee Dislocation
The initial diagnosis of knee dislocation occurs by history and physical exam. The care provider will learn about mechanism of injury and the appearance of the leg at time of injury. Knee examination will look for swelling, areas of tenderness, and stability of the knee ligaments. Knee dislocations are associated with significant swelling and bleeding, and it may be difficult to appreciate on physical exam how unstable the knee might be. The provider needs to have a high index of suspicion to make the diagnosis.
The provider will also look for nerve and artery damage.
Medical professionals test for peroneal nerve damage by looking for decreased sensation on the top of the foot between the big and second toe and by assessing the ability for the patient to dorsiflex the foot .
Popliteal artery injury is an important concern. Doctors will check pulses in the foot and in the back of the knee . Hard signs of a popliteal injury include
- loss of pulses,
- enlarging hematoma ,
- bruits ,
- thrills , and
- if there is a wound, pulsatile bleeding.
Hard signs of popliteal artery injury will cause the patient to be taken immediately to the operating room for artery repair.
Because the risk of popliteal injury is so high, if hard signs arent present, medical professionals may perform other testing to look for artery damage:
Medical professionals take plain X-rays to look for broken bones and to determine the misalignment of the femur and tibia.
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Symptom Of A Dislocated Knee
Pain is a common knee problem that can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint , the kneecap , or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. Knee pain can be aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity, affected by the surrounding muscles and their movements, and be triggered by other problems . Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and home remedies can be helpful unless it becomes severe.
A knee dislocation is very painful, and marked swelling and deformity often accompany the injury. About half of knee dislocations will reduce or realign themselves spontaneously. The bones may look aligned, but the joint remains very unstable. The patient will have too much pain to lift the leg off the stretcher or to try and walk at all.
If there is damage to the peroneal nerve, the patient may complain of numbness in the foot and be unable to dorsiflex the foot or flex the toes in the direction of the nose.
What Causes The Patella To Dislocate
Acute patellar dislocation is caused by force, either from a direct impact or a bad step that uses your own body weight against you. A heavy fall or collision can knock the kneecap out of place. However, it doesnt always take that much. It may be caused by something as simple as a sudden turn that twists the knee while the lower leg is still firmly planted. Athletes and dancers, who are prone to quick pivots, are common victims of this.
Some people have patellar instability, which means that the tendons and ligaments that hold the kneecap in place are already loose and unstable. This might be caused by a previous injury or by another preexisting anatomical condition. An unstable kneecap will dislocate more easily.
People with congenital patellar dislocation are born with the condition. It is often, but not always, related to other developmental abnormalities.
Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Your Knees
Key #2 Its All About Strength
Especially if you play sport but even if you dont you need to get your muscles strong to avoid this happening again.
First time patella dislocations have about 17% chance of it happening again, but if it does dislocate a second time, the chances that it will keep happening sky-rockets to 49%! The moral of the story is to strengthen while you can.
I like to start with quadriceps, because if these are weak there is potential for your knee to give-way. Particularly the inside muscle called your VMO . You can do this with a simple seated knee extension.
Sit on a chair and straighten the knee all the way to the end put a weight on your foot to make it harder on the quadriceps. Please have a look at our youtube clip for the whole exercise!
Just focusing on quads alone will help, but there are other muscles which are important. As in my previous anterior knee pain blog, you need to get hips and trunk muscles strong! Check out that blog to see some exercises that will help with this.
How Do I Know If My Knee Is Dislocated
If you suffer a dislocated knee, youll know right away that you have a serious injury. A dislocation is very painful and causes immediate symptoms that worsen over time. You may be able to identify your injury as a dislocation from the following signs and symptoms:
- A popping sound during the time of injury
- Severe knee pain
- Swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness
- Visible deformity or crookedness of the knee
- A feeling of instability or giving out in the joint
- An inability to bend or straighten the knee
- An inability to bear weight on the knee
- Numbness or lack of pulse in the foot
A dislocation can severely damage the ligaments, arteries and nerves around your knee and place the integrity of the joint and leg at risk. You should not attempt to pop the knee back into place on your own or treat the injury yourself.
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Knee Stiffen Up After Sitting
A Note From Cleveland Clinic
A dislocated patella can be scary and painful, but its not as serious as other dislocation injuries. It takes less force to dislocate the patella than other bones, which means there is less likely to be collateral damage to the blood vessels or nerves. It also relocates more easily, sometimes by itself.
If you dislocate your kneecap, the first thing to worry about is putting it back in place. You or a trained professional may be able to fix it on site. If not, your healthcare provider can do it for you with medication to make it less painful. After that, rest and rehabilitation should have you back on your knee in about six weeks.