Dislocated Knee

WHAT IS Dislocated Knee?

A dislocated knee is when the kneecap moves or slips out of place, usually to the outside of your knee. Sometimes, you can see this.

Dislocated knees are rare, and happen only after car crashes, falls, and other high-energy injuries. They’re more common in women than in men.

Your knee can be permanently damaged by a dislocated knee.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Dislocated Knee?

  • A deformed knee
  • A bent knee that can’t be straightened
  • Swelling
  • No feeling below the knee (sometimes)
  • “Sloppy” kneecap: You can move it

Get medical care right away if you think you or someone you know has a dislocated knee.

What Are the Treatments for Dislocated Knee?

Treatments for a dislocated knee include:

  • Moving the kneecap to put it back in place. The doctor will give you a sedative or anesthesia before doing this.
  • Cast or splint to prevent you from moving the knee while it heals if the bone isn’t broken and no cartilage is damaged.
  • Surgery to stabilize the kneecap if there is damage to the bone and cartilage, or if the knee is still unstable. The surgeon can often use arthroscopic surgery. Done through a few small incisions, this minimally-invasive surgery helps you heal faster and with less pain.
  • Another surgery to rebuild ligaments and repair broken bones (sometimes).
  • Physical therapy after the cast, splint, or surgery to strengthen the muscles that support the knee and improve movement.