The knees are one of the strongest joints in the body. In fact, it’s so strong these joints carry most of the body’s weight. Aside from the hips, the knees absorb pressure and weight during daily activities of the human body including walking, standing, running and jumping.
That is why this pair of joints are the ones most affected by fractures, dislocations and injuries. For individuals who are engaging in sports activities, one of the most common injury they encounter is knee dislocation.
What Is Knee Dislocation?
A knee dislocation happens when the bones that make up the knee go out of place. Sometimes, it involves either the bones of the legs called the fibula and the tibia. Normally, these bones move depending on how the largest bone in the body, the femur, moves. In knee dislocation, either one of these bones is out of place.
The normal knees are protected by ligaments, which are strong bands of tissues. These ligaments work by stabilizing the knee joint. However, when there is knee dislocation, these ligaments will tear.
Dislocation Knee vs. Dislocation Kneecap
A dislocation knee is more serious and requires a lot of time for recovery. When the knee is dislocated, there is a possibility of peroneal nerve damage. For worse cases, a condition called foot drop may happen. For athletes, this condition might take a toll on their sports career. Dislocated kneecap, on the other hand, is a less serious injury and the patella can go back to its original position spontaneously.
What Causes Knee Dislocation
Most of the time, people who are engaged in sports activities or those who are performing strenuous physical activities are the ones who suffer knee dislocation. Though this type of dislocation is rare, they usually occur after a trauma, fall, vehicular accidents and other types of injuries involving speed.
People who engage in sports activities that require running, jumping and twisting are the ones prone to suffering from knee dislocation. Hence, it is important to wear protective sports gear for the knees.
Knee Dislocation Treatment
Knee dislocation treatment involves various procedures. The good news is, in about 90 percent of the cases, the kneecap usually goes back on its original position without much intervention. However, the patient might still feel pain, swelling and inability to perform activities right away.
When dislocated knee occurs, do not try to move the patient or put back his or her knee. This job is for professional doctors and orthopedic sugeon only. Always ask for medical assistance as soon as possible. When immediate medical assistance is not given to the patient, serious complications might arise.
Initially, a doctor will manually kneecap back into position and apply ice packs to reduce swelling. However, for serious cases, a surgery is recommended.
Return to activities like sports may take a lot of time until the knee recovers. It may take days to a couple of weeks depending on the severity of the case. Rehabilitation is part of knee dislocation treatment and is important to make sure the knee can recover and attain its original range of motion.