Dislocated Knee: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2019

A dislocated knee is a relatively rare injury in which the connection between the shinbone (tibia) and thighbone (femur) is disrupted. For this to occur, at least three of the four ligaments that stabilize the knee joint must be damaged.

Signs and symptoms of a dislocated knee injury include

  • severe knee pain,
  • deformity of the knee joint,
  • knee swelling,
  • foot numbness,
  • an inability to flex the foot, and
  • coldness of the foot.

If fractures occur, bone fragments may be visible through broken skin, and there may be bruising, bleeding, or other signs of injury.

Causes of knee dislocations

Significant trauma causes knee dislocations, and bone fractures sometimes accompany these injuries. Accidents, falls, or injuries in athletes may cause the trauma.

Other dislocated knee symptoms and signs

  • Coldness of the Foot
  • Deformity of the Knee Joint
  • Foot Numbness
  • Inability to Flex the Foot
  • Knee Swelling
  • Severe Knee Pain


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.