What causes a patellar dislocation?
The patella, commonly known as the kneecap, is one of the four bones (femur, tibia, fibula, and patella) that make your knee joint. When it slips out of the knee joint, the condition is known as a patellar dislocation.
Patellar dislocations are common, particularly in adolescent females and athletes. Having a structural abnormality in the patella puts you at a high risk of patellar dislocations.
A patellar dislocation may be due to direct trauma to your patella or twisting of your knee. Along with the patellar dislocation, the injury may also result in the fracture of the patella, tibia, or femur simultaneously.
If you get a patellar dislocation, you would not be able to extend your knee, walking might feel painful and fluid might get filled in your knee, which can be observed as swelling.
How is a patellar dislocation diagnosed?
- A patellar dislocation can be usually diagnosed by just looking at your knee joint. Your doctor might gently press on your knee joint and feel the dislocated patella.
- Your doctor may ask for an X-ray of your knee joint to check if there are any fractures.
- He may also ask for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the knee joint if he suspects damage to the surrounding cartilage or tear of the ligament.
What is the reduction of a patellar dislocation?
The reduction of patellar dislocation is a simple and safe procedure that aligns the patella correctly in the knee joint and restores it to its normal position. If not associated with fractures, it can be performed manually.
Painkillers are usually not required before the reduction procedure. If you get anxious, your doctor might sedate you or give local anesthesia to numb your knee.
- Reduction of patellar dislocation is performed in the following way:
- Your doctor will cradle your affected leg in one of his/her arms.
- He will then slightly flex your hip to relax the quadriceps muscle located in front of your thigh.
- Next, he will gently extend your lower leg that will spontaneously align the patella correctly.
When does your doctor recommend against the reduction of patellar dislocation?
Your doctor will not perform a reduction of a patellar dislocation if there is an associated fracture of the tibia or fibula. If you face recurrent dislocations, your doctor may prefer surgery over reduction.
What is done after the reduction of patellar dislocation?
- Your doctor will examine your knee physically to check if the reduction has been successful. An X-ray of the knee joint will be ordered to confirm whether your dislocated patella has been restored correctly.
- Next, your knee will be immediately wrapped in a brace, cast, or splint for approximately three to four weeks, or you may need to use crutches for a few weeks.
- You will need to follow-up with your doctor as advised.
- After reduction, recovery from the patellar dislocation usually takes approximately six to eight weeks. With the help of a physical therapist, you can learn some exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knee and thigh that will fasten your recovery.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Reduction of Patellar Dislocation. Available at: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/109263-overview
Kneecap dislocation – aftercare. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000585.htm
Top What Is the Reduction of a Patellar Dislocation? Related Articles
Broken BoneA broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as:
- vertebral compression,
- compound, and
Symptoms of a broken bone include pain at the site of injury, swelling, and bruising around the area of injury. Treatment of a fracture depends on the type and location of the injury.
Bursitis Symptoms and TreatmentsDiagnosed with bursitis? Learn about treatment and prevention for trochanteric bursitis, as well as hip, knee, shoulder and other bursitis types.
CT Scan vs. MRI
CT scan (computerized tomography) is a procedure that uses X-rays to scan and take images of cross-sections of parts of the body. CT scan can help diagnose broken bones, tumors or lesions in areas of the body, blood clots in the brain, legs, and lung, and lung infections or diseases like pneumonia or emphysema.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a procedure that uses strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency energy to make images of parts of the body, particularly, the organs and soft tissues like tendons and cartilage.
Both CT and MRI are painless, however, MRI can be more bothersome to some individuals who are claustrophobic, or suffer from anxiety or panic disorders due to the enclosed space and noise the machine makes.
MRI costs more than CT, while CT is a quicker and more comfortable test for the patient.
How Is Knee Arthrocentesis Performed?Arthrocentesis (joint aspiration) is a diagnostic procedure in which fluid is drained from a joint (synovial fluid) using sterile needle and syringe. Knee arthrocentesis is an important procedure used for diagnosing arthritis and differentiating inflammatory arthritis from noninflammatory arthritis. Arthrocentesis can also be performed therapeutically for pain relief, drainage of fluid or injection of medications. Knee arthrocentesis is a relatively quick procedure but may be performed under local anesthesia to avoid pain.
Knee BursitisBursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms include pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. Treatment of knee bursitis depends on whether infection is involved. If the knee bursa is not infected, knee bursitis may be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Knee InjuryKnee injuries, especially meniscus tears, are common in contact sports. Symptoms and signs of a torn meniscus include knee pain, swelling, a popping sound, and difficulty bending the leg. Treatment may involve resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the knee, in addition to wearing a knee brace, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching the knee.
Knee Joint PictureThe knee joint has three parts. See a picture of Knee Joint and learn more about the health topic.
Knee PainAcute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee pain include redness, swelling, difficulty walking, and locking of the knee. To diagnose knee pain, a physician will perform a physical exam and also may order X-rays, arthrocentesis, blood tests, or a CT scan or MRI. Treatment of knee pain depends upon the cause of the pain.
Knee ReplacementFind out what to expect with knee replacement surgery in this WebMD slideshow.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique which uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. MRI scanning is painless and does not involve X-ray radiation. Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned with MRI because of the effect of the magnet.
OA of the Knee ExercisesLearn about osteoarthritis and exercises that relieve knee osteoarthritis pain, stiffness and strengthen the knee joint and surrounding muscles through this picture slideshow.
Knee Pain Dos and Don'tsYour knees go through a lot in the course of a day, and sometimes they can run into trouble. Here are a few things you can do when knee pain hits.
Total Knee ReplacementDuring total knee replacement surgery, the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. The risks include blood clots in the legs, urinary tract infection, nausea and vomiting, chronic knee pain, nerve damage, and infection.
What Are the Different Types of Knee Injections?Knee injection is a procedure in which medications are injected into the knee joint to treat the pain due to various causes. There are different types of knee injections. The most common type of intra-articular knee injection is corticosteroids. Other agents used are hyaluronic acid, infliximab, Botox (botulinum neurotoxin), and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Knee injection is a relatively quick procedure and may be performed under local anesthesia to avoid pain.
X-RaysX-rays are a powerful form of electromagnetic radiation that has the ability to pass through solid objects. In medicine, X-rays are used to obtain an image of a part of the body. X-rays are necessary to diagnose many illnesses, for example, tumors, arthritis, dental problems, digestive or heart problems, and bone fractures. The side effects, dangers, and risks of having X-rays while pregnant or breastfeeding are provided.