Dislocated Knee Treatment in Houston, TX
A dislocated knee (also known as a patellar dislocation) happens when the bones that form your knee become out of place. The bones of your leg (tibia and fibula) move in relation to the bone in your thigh (femur), causing the ligaments that hold your knee in place to tear. Often confused with a partial dislocation (called a subluxation), a full knee dislocation occurs when your thigh bone completely loses contact with the top of your shin bone. A knee dislocation is usually associated with events of severe trauma such as automobile crashes, severe falls or sports injuries.
There is a qualified orthopedic surgeon in Houston that can safely repair your dislocated knee and restore function to your kneecap; call (281) 746-6682 or contact Dr. David Vanderweide online.
Knee Dislocation Symptoms
A knee dislocation is outwardly noticeable, causing a deformity to your knee and will result in immediate pain and discomfort. Common symptoms include:
- A popping sound at the time of the injury
- A feeling of the kneecap shifting or sliding out of groove
- A feeling of the knee buckling or giving way
- Severe pain in your knee or as the result of any movement of the knee
- Numbness below the knee, especially in your foot where there is no pulse
- An appearance of your lower leg looking shorter than usual
Additionally, if your dislocated kneecap relocates, there will be swelling. It is advised to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms to ensure proper treatment. If a knee dislocation occurs, there is the potential for significant damage to the surrounding tissue and ligaments.
Patellar Dislocation Diagnosis: Assessing Your Knee Dislocation
Treating a patellar dislocation will start with an exam, or possibly several, to assess the damage of the patellar dislocation. Potential exams your healthcare provider may recommend include:
- An X-ray to make sure there are no breaks in the bone and to evaluate the extent of the dislocation.
- An arteriogram (X-ray of the artery) to make sure there are no injuries to the artery. Your healthcare provider may also recommend an ultrasound or Doppler (soundwave) to assess blood flow in your arteries.
- An examination of the nerves to assess potential nerve damage.
Your healthcare provider will also likely begin to address the ligaments, cartilage and meniscus damage that has occurred as a result of the knee dislocation.
Dislocated Kneecap Treatment
When treating your dislocated kneecap, your healthcare provider may:
- Relocate the knee by moving your lower leg back into position
- Put the knee in a splint or immobilizer to keep the knee from bending and causing further damage as well as to help the tissues to start healing
- Recommend at-home practices to ensure proper healing such as icing the knee, using crutches and elevating the leg
In severe cases, surgical reconstruction may be needed to restore the damaged ligaments. In these cases, ACL and PCL ligaments could need reconstruction. Some surgical procedures that may be recommended by your healthcare provider include:
- An emergency vascular surgery to repair ligament tears and to ultimately restore function
- A lateral release surgery to better center the kneecap within the groove on the end of the thigh bone
- A medial imbrication to tighten the tissue on the inner side of the knee and to tighten the knee’s structure
- A MPFL Repair/Reconstruction to repair the medial patellofemoral ligament which binds the thigh bone and the inner side of the knee cap (patella)
- A bone realignment
Recovery will vary depending upon the extent of the injury, but most can expect a full recovery within 6-8 weeks. Make sure to understand what is happening throughout your knee dislocation treatment even if this means asking your healthcare provider questions often.
Knee dislocations are painful and present potential concern for long-term damage. However, proper treatment can ensure a safe recovery. To schedule a consultation with a qualified orthopedic surgeon in Houston, call (281) 746-6682 or contact Dr. David Vanderweide online.
David G. Vanderweide MD, PA
Address333 N Texas Ave
Webster, TX 77598