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How To Treat Locked Knee

How To Help Someone Whos Knee Has Locked:

Painful locked knee- meniscus injury, Gonstead Chiropractic Case 2015

If someone you are with has a locked knee, help them to sit or lay down. If they are experiencing pain, consider providing them with an ice pack and something to elevate their leg on . Consider getting them a pain medication to take.

Then assist them to find medical help. Call their physician or consider driving them to the doctors office, urgent care, or emergency department.

Note that the information in this article is purely informative and should never be used in place of the advice of your treating physicians.

Seeing The Doctor For A Diagnosis

  • 1Visit the doctor for swelling, trouble moving your knee, or trouble bearing weight. Light swelling is probably okay, but if you have severe swelling and you can’t extend your leg, you should see the doctor. You should also see the doctor if you can’t stand on your leg or your knee looks obviously deformed.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • If you have a fever in addition to redness or swelling around your knee, visit your doctor, too.
  • 2Go prepared to discuss any injuries you’ve had. Your doctor will want to know the details of how you injured your knee. For instance, they will want to know what kind of movement caused the injury and if you felt or heard a “pop” when it happened.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the PublicGo to source
  • Similarly, your doctor will want to know how quickly it swelled and whether you had pain almost immediately or if it came on slowly.
  • 3Expect the doctor to perform a physical exam. They will compare the problematic knee to your other knee. They may also see how far you can extend your leg. You may need to stand on your knee if it’s not too painful. Let your doctor know if you experience any sharp or dull pain during this examination, as that information could be useful.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the PublicGo to source
  • A Locked Knee Is Not Secure

    The ankle bones connected to the shin bone

    The shin bones connected to the knee boneThe knee bones connected to the thigh bone

    The knee, the knee the poor thing gets abuse from above and below. Dysfunction at the hip or in the foot/ankle can wreak havoc to this dear joint the largest joint in the human body. The integral relationship of all these joints as they fall in line with gravity means that at any one point, your posture can be dramatically affected, even with what might be perceived as a slight misalignment.

    As an instructor I was taught never to use the cue lock your knees for a couple of reasons some people have a natural tendency or capability to hyperextend at this joint , and we do not want to encourage that habit. The word lock also implies making something fixed. Movement is dynamic, and while we need to be stable, we are not looking to overly grip on any joints, but for a balanced muscle activation. So we do look for in many Pilates exercises, is a full extension the knees an active drawing upward of the kneecap toward the hip bone.

    Working or standing with locked or hyperextended knees brings that joint aligned slightly behind the ideal line with gravity, putting compressive stress and wearing down of the joint. Long term, a major ligament, commonly referred to as the ACL , responsible for nearly 100% of your knee stability is weakened. In general, every time you hyperextend the knee, you are compromising yourself to injury.

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    How To Unlock Your Knees

    This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 79,741 times.

    Knee injuries are quite painful but are unfortunately very common, especially for athletes and individuals with weak joints. Tearing your meniscus or having loose fragments in your joint can cause a locked knee, which painfully limits the motion of the knee joint. Your knee can also become physically locked in place if the joint in your knee gets stuck. If you have a knee injury, you should make an appointment to see a doctor immediately, but you can also begin to treat the injury at home in the meantime.

    Trying Medical Interventions At Your Doctor’s Office

    Treatments for Locked Knee
  • 1Ask your doctor about aspiration for swelling. If your knee is very swollen, they may offer a procedure called aspiration. They will use a needle to draw off fluid from the knee, which will help with the swelling and pain. This procedure may take a few minutes, and they may use imaging scans to help guide the needle.XResearch source
  • Typically, they will numb the area before inserting the needle.
  • 2Talk to your doctor about knee injections, which may be beneficial. Several types of knee injections are available to you. Your doctor will know which options are best for your particular situation, but they can decrease your pain and inflammation.XExpert Source
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    How Can I Prevent A Meniscus Tear

    Meniscus tears are tough to prevent since they’re usually the result of an accident. But some precautions might lower the risks of a knee injury. You should:

    • Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular exercises.
    • Warm up with light activities before taking part
    • Give your body time to rest between workouts. Fatigued muscles can increase your risk of injury.
    • Make sure your shoes have enough support and fit correctly.
    • Maintain flexibility.
    • Never abruptly increase the intensity of your workout. Make changes slowly.

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    What Is A Locked Knee

    The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body. It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone , and also includes a smaller bone, the fibula, which is located next to the tibia, and the knee cap . Tendons connect these bones to the leg muscles, while ligaments connect the knee bones to each other and make the knee stable. In addition, two C-shaped pieces of cartilage-the medial and lateral menisci-provide a cushion between the femur and tibia, acting, in effect, as shock absorbers.

    Knees are designed to bend up and down, and to rotate slightly. When a knee is unable to perform those functions, it impacts mobility and the ability to complete daily living activities, such as sitting, standing, squatting, or kneeling. When a knee cannot be bent or straightened, it is called a locked knee. There are two types of locked knees. A true locked knee occurs when the knee joint is literally locked into place and cannot move. A pseudo locked knee occurs when pain makes it difficult to move the knee joint.

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    What To Do When Your Knee Locks:

    If your knee locks suddenly and will not unlock, get help and call your physician or go to your nearest emergency department.

    If it locks and your are able to get it to unlock, call your physician to discuss options for treatment or to schedule a visit.

    The following information may additionally be helpful when thinking about treatment options for a locked knee.

    The work-up of a locked knee

    The work-up of a locked knee begins with your doctor asking you questions about any injury that may have started your symptoms and the quality of your symptoms themselves. Your doctor will perform an examination of your knee to give him/her clues regarding your injury.

    Regular X-rays may be ordered to look at the bones of the knee to make sure there are no obvious loose bodies, fractures, and to assess the overall alignment of the knee. Depending on your symptoms, an MRI scan may be ordered to get a better look at the soft tissue structures of the knee. An MRI is very good at evaluating the soft tissue structures around the knee, including the menisci and ligaments.

    Your doctor will determine whether your locking is due to a true mechanical lock or pain related .

    Non-Surgical Treatment of a Locked Knee

    The first step in treating a locked knee is to determine the cause of the locking. If the locking is intermittent or due to pain, non-surgical treatments can oftentimes be tried first.

    Surgical Treatment of a Locked Knee

    How The Location And Type Of Tear Affect Healing

    How To Unlock Your Knee

    Where a meniscus tear occurs is one of the most important things that affects healing. Tears at the outer edge tend to heal well because there is a good blood supply. The inner area lacks a good blood supply and therefore does not heal well.

    The type of tear often determines whether a tear can be repaired. Longitudinal tears are often repairable. Radial tears may be repairable depending on where they are located. Oblique tears and another type called horizontal tears are generally not repairable.

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    What To Know When Your Knee Locks Up

    The human knee is a synovial joint, having the synovial fluid as a lubricant between the femur and the calf bones. Since knees suffer abrasions and shocks, the joint is protected by the patella, also called as knee cap.

    If you often wonder Why does my knee lock? You should know that over the years, due to excessive strain on the knees, injuries, and calcium loss, people suffer from a condition that can be described as the locked knee. This is what causes knee to lock up most commonly. Thus, knee locking and popping is a common occurrence today.

    Locked knee refers to a condition where the person becomes unable to move the joint, either due to inflammation, injury, or other chronic diseases.

    “Knee locking” is a fairly common joint ailment that inhibits the ability to move the knee in any direction. Knee locking affects many people each year who seek knee pain remedies so that they can continue with their normal activities.

    Knee locking is most commonly caused by some damage to the bone, cartilage, tendons, or ligaments that comprise the overall knee structure. Of these knee components, damage to the meniscus – the cartilage – is the most common cause of locked knees.

    The meniscus and the other parts of the joint may cause knee locking for any of the following reasons:

    What Is A Meniscus Tear

    A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. They keep your knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee. A torn meniscus can prevent your knee from working right.

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    Causes Of Pseudo Locked Knee

    Pseudo knee locking is almost always linked with pain. If knee pain is severe enough, then the bodys protective mechanisms kick in, limiting the movement as the body tries to prevent any damage being done. It usually does this by causing the muscles to spasm, holding the leg in position.

    The difference from true locking is that there is nothing actually stuck inside the joint, and whilst the knee may at first appear to be stuck, it usually unlocks quickly. There is often more of a catching sensation which inhibits movement but quickly disappears rather than the knee locking up completely.

    Pseudo locking can limit both flexion and extension, bending and straightening the knee, whereas true locking is usually a block to extension only.

    The most common causes of pseudo locking at the knee include:

  • Swelling: Excess fluid in the joint capsule can limit the movement due to increased tension, preventing full flexion and extension
  • Inflammation: inflammation of the structures in and around the knee can also limit movement. The most common causes of this are rheumatoid arthritis and gout
  • Patellar Maltracking: a problem with the movement of the kneecap in the groove on the front of the knee can cause pseudo locking. It is usually very painful
  • Plica Syndrome: Irritation of the medial plica, a fold in the synovial tissue lining the joint can cause pseudo locking
  • What Is Knee Locking Or Locked Knee

    Knee Locking

    Knee Locking or Locked Knee is the term used to describe a painful condition that occurs as result of knee extension at certain angle.1 During extension of knee joint, extension is restricted at 10 to 30 degree to prevent pain. Patient is unable to achieve optimum normal extension. Any further extension beyond the restricted angle causes severe intractable knee pain. Most common cause of locked knee or knee locking is meniscus tear, congenital defect, injury or disease like osteoarthritis.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Knee Locking Or Locked Knee

    • Fever Knee joint infection or abscess of knee joint
    • Severe Pain on extension is one of the symptoms of locked knee
    • Restricted Knee Joint Movements Knee locking often causes difficulty to stand on affected leg.
    • Knee Examination Tender and painful knee joint on palpation.
    • In Locked knee, Flexion of Knee Joint is fixed in position, often at a 45 degree angle.
    • Extension of Knee Joint Person suffering from knee locking or locked knee will be unable to straighten the leg. Leg can be cautiously and manually placed to complete extension position using both hands.
    • Rubbing and Grinding Sounds can be one of the sign and symptoms of locked knee. Knee joint movement creates a sound because of the rubbing of the fragment of torn meniscus which is caught in the joint. Abnormal sound is associated with intense pain.
    • Stump Impingement Reflex Sign is observed in anterior cruciate ligament tear.

    To Treat A Meniscus Tear

    A meniscus tear is the most common cause of a true knee lock. To treat a meniscus tear, your doctor will likely recommend rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. They are also likely to recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around your knee and in your legs, which will help stabilize your knee joint and reduce pain and locking.

    If you keep having symptoms, and especially if locking continues, your doctor will probably recommend surgery. In children and young adults, meniscus tears can usually be repaired. However, in older people and in severe tears, surgical repair may not be possible. In this case, a surgeon will try to trim your meniscus to prevent it from getting caught in your knee.

    After your surgery, you will need a period of rest for your knee to heal. Later, youll need to perform therapeutic exercises to boost your knee strength and stability.

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    Locked Knee Joint Causes: Treatment Options You Can Try At Home

    When a person bends his leg and is unable to straighten it or bend it further the condition is known as locked knee. The fixed position requires maneuver with hands either to make the leg straight or bend further. Usually the knee gets locked at 45 degrees.

    Locked knee is a painful condition and embarrassing too. Suffering from locked knee can affect daily life. The condition can be sudden in onset or it a progressive phenomenon which ultimately results in inability to have proper range of motion. Both young and old can suffer from this problem, even though the causes may vary.

    Locked knee to a lesser extent can be managed conservatively but in severe cases it needs surgery. Sometimes the patient may have to visit emergency room if the condition is sudden and severe.

    Exercises And Stretches That May Help

    Locked Knee: Causes And Treatment

    In some cases, people with a stiff knee should avoid exercising. Some knee injuries need time to heal and would benefit from rest instead of exercise.

    However, a stiff knee that occurs due to a form of arthritis may benefit from exercise. The Arthritis Foundation state that different exercises and stretches could help in different ways:

    • Strengthening exercises: Increasing muscle strength around the knee reduces the stress on the joint. Examples of these exercises include leg lifts and hamstring curls.
    • Range-of-motion exercises: Stretches and exercises that increase the knees range of motion keep the joint moving to reduce stiffness. Examples of these exercises include heel slides and stretching with a yoga strap.
    • Aerobic exercises: Cardio exercises can boost a persons energy levels and reduce any excess weight that may put extra pressure on the knee. Examples of these exercises include cycling and swimming.
    • Balance exercises: These exercises strengthen the muscles around the knee while also reducing the risk of falling, which could damage the joint further. Examples of these exercises include single leg standing and standing on a foam pad.

    A person with a form of arthritis may want to discuss any new exercise plans or programs with their doctor before starting.

    The following tips can also help prevent or alleviate knee stiffness and pain:

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    What Does It Mean When You Can’t Bend Your Knee

    A knee that cannot be bent, often known as a “locked knee,” is usually indicative of a serious issue with the knee joint. Determining if discomfort is restricting movement or whether something is literally lodged inside the knee joint might aid in determining the best course of treatment.

    The two main bones of the knee are the femur and tibia. These bones are held together by strong ligaments so that they can move in relation to one another. The knee has three sets of muscles that control its movement: the quadriceps , the hamstring , and the calf muscles . Healthy knees have sufficient blood supply which allows for proper muscle function.

    If you can’t bend your knee, see your doctor immediately. You may need an x-ray to determine the cause of the problem and create a plan of care. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair damaged tissue, remove stones that have become stuck in the joint, or replace any parts of the joint that are damaged. Your doctor should conduct a complete medical history and physical examination before making any decisions regarding your care.


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