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Dislocated Kneecap

Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons, LLP

Orthopedics & Pain Management located in Hawthorne, NY & Yonkers, NY

The patella, commonly called the kneecap, can dislocate if you put enough pressure on it, shifting painfully out of position. If you have a dislocated kneecap, Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons, LLP in Hawthorne and Yonkers, New York, can help. The practice’s expert orthopedic surgeons offer practical solutions to the pain and disability a dislocated kneecap can cause. To get the treatment you need, call the office today or book an appointment online.

Dislocated Kneecap Q & A

What is a dislocated kneecap?

A dislocated kneecap happens when something forces the bone at the front of your knee (the patella) out of position. It could result from a fall or auto accident. You can also dislocate your kneecap by putting too much pressure on it, so it’s a common sports injury.

Your kneecap sits in a groove, held in place by tendons and ligaments. Dislocation knocks the kneecap out of its groove, moving the bone to either side of your knee. If you’ve dislocated your kneecap, you’ve likely also damaged other parts of your knee, like the meniscus cartilage and your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

A dislocated kneecap isn’t the same as a dislocated knee. A dislocated knee is a more severe injury that causes the shinbone (tibia) and thigh bone (femur) to move out of position.

What symptoms does a kneecap dislocation cause?

A dislocated kneecap can make the joint weak and unstable. If you try to put your weight on the affected knee, it can give way. If your kneecap shifts to the outside of your knee, it can bend your leg unnaturally, affecting your ability to walk.

In some cases, the kneecap becomes hypermobile, moving around. Moderate to severe dislocations shift your kneecap to the outside of your leg. Your knee is likely to be painful, especially when standing, tender to touch, swollen, and bruised.

How is a dislocated kneecap treated?

Most dislocated kneecaps can be treated with rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and using a cast, brace, or crutches.

Another treatment for a dislocated kneecap is reduction, where your doctor manually moves your kneecap back into position. Your doctor could also use joint aspiration, where they draw off excess fluid that has built up inside the knee joint.

If you have a severely dislocated kneecap or damage to the knee’s ligaments, tendons, or cartilage, you might need to undergo surgery.

What surgery might I need for a dislocated kneecap?

Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons uses minimally invasive techniques to examine the inside of your knee. The instrument they use, called an arthroscope, fits through a small incision in your knee. It sends back images of your kneecap to a monitor in the treatment room that your surgeon uses to determine the damage.

Depending on your injury, your surgeon might be able to use arthroscopy to make repairs to the joint. In some cases, reconstructive surgery will be necessary to remove or repair damaged cartilage, reposition a severely dislocated kneecap, or repair damaged ligaments and tendons.

If you have a dislocated kneecap, call Hudson Valley Bone & Joint Surgeons, LLP today or book an appointment online.