Sudden, sharp knee pain can be both frightening and frustrating. You may not know what to do about it or how to treat it. Some people are comfortable going to a doctor or an emergency room. Others would rather try to treat the knee pain on their own, even though doing so can result in worse pain or injury. One of the most common causes of pain in the knee is patella dislocation.
A dislocation of the knee or the patella means that the bones that form the knee are out of place. This type of injury typically occurs during sports, car accidents, twisting one’s knee doing a dance move and similar situations. Because the bones of the knee are bound together by tissues called ligaments, dislocating the knee bones results in damage to the ligaments as well. Besides severe pain, other symptoms of dislocation of the knee include an obviously deformed looking bone, swell and numbness below the knee.
If you believe you have a knee dislocation, it’s important to immobilize the joint First, try gently to straighten the knee. If the joint is frozen in a bent position, keep it as still as possible with heavy blankets or pillows. Next, call for help. An ambulance is the best means of transportation because attendants can also help you keep the wounded joint motionless. At the hospital, doctors take x-rays and other similar images to confirm the diagnosis and see if there are any complications. Doctors will also administer pain medicine and anaesthetic and manipulate the knee bones back into place. The knee is then immobilized with a brace for several weeks to allow the bones and ligaments to heal.
There may be times when knee dislocation treatment involves surgery. One reason for surgery, for instance, is that a small part of the bone may break off when the knee is dislocated. That bone fragment can cause infection if it is not removed. Patella dislocation surgery is usually performed by an orthopaedic surgeon.
Managing pain is an important part of care after a patella dislocation. Moderate to severe pain is common for three to eight days after the dislocation. Most doctors prescribe narcotic pain medication to relieve discomfort. You can also use over the counter pills like ibuprofen or Tylenol. Regularly icing the injured knee can also help. Another idea is to elevate the injured leg several times a day. If the pain is intense, or if it has not eased up in a week’s time, contact your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon for further evaluation and care.
Having a knee dislocation can be painful and frustrating. All of a sudden you’re laid up and can’t to the things you enjoy doing. The good news is that with proper knee dislocation treatment, most people make a full recovery. Chances are excellent that if you follow your physician’s advice, you should be back on your feet within six to twelve meat.