If you want to learn what a dislocated knee is, how it is diagnosed, its symptoms, and the different ways to treat it, then read this article by Natalie of familyfisio.com.
If you happen to dislocate your knee, then you have a rare but serious injury to deal with. Simply put, a knee dislocation is brought about when your thigh bone and shin bone are no longer in contact with each other. Some people tend to confuse a knee dislocation with patellar dislocation. Patellar dislocation or dislocated kneecap means that the kneecap is dislodged from its joint within the thigh bone. Furthermore, knee dislocations typically result from trauma caused by high-velocity accidents, namely car accidents, dangerous falls, and sports contact.
Knee ligament damage
When you suffer a knee dislocation, your knee ligaments are usually damaged. As a result, healthcare providers must find out which ligament has been injured. Typically, the ligaments, the anterior cruciate (ACL), and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are the ones that are torn.
The PCL is the knee’s strongest ligament. It is usually damaged by overextending the knee, whether by landing incorrectly after awkwardly jumping or suffering direct blows to the spot, usually on the car’s dashboard in an accident, etc.
Knee dislocations are so severe that they may impact other body parts. Interestingly, in common knee dislocations, the collateral ligaments, cartilage, and meniscus, all of which are parts of the knee, maybe also damaged. Knee dislocations have been known to result in critical damage of the leg’s surrounding nerves and vascular areas.
Diagnosing a dislocated knee
One of the most trusted ways of proving that your knee has dislocated, is using X-rays. In such a case where your knee is, in fact, dislocated, the doctor will then endeavour to reposition your knee joint. After which, the doctor will need to monitor the nerves and blood vessels’ status, which surround the injury; as such, angiogram tests may be used.
Symptoms of having a dislocated knee
- Knee swelling and soreness in the space behind the knee
- Knee joint instability
- Knee joint pain
Treating a dislocated knee
A doctor or physiotherapist will first tend to any apparent nerve or tissue damage in treating knee dislocations. If you also experienced ligament, cartilage, and meniscus damage, the doctor would treat those. In this regard, ligaments such as the ACL and PCL are often surgically reconstructed. The more immediate treatment strategies may include:
- Applying cold compresses to the area.
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain.
- Limited physical activity.
- Physical therapy.
This concludes how a healthcare professional or physio may treat this injury.