Get Treatment For Kneecap Dislocation

Great Surgical Care at Marina del Rey Hospital



Why Choose Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Kneecap Dislocation Treatment?

Since 1969, our hospital has been providing the community of Los Angeles with quality healthcare and is ready to offer you the treatment you need for kneecap dislocation in a warm and compassionate environment. By virtue of the state-of-the-art technology Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital is equipped with, you can undergo surgery for kneecap dislocation with minimal postoperative risks. Furthermore, our orthopedic surgeons are very skillful and talented and will quickly and safely restore your health. Because we always strive to create a comfortable atmosphere for our patients, you will receive the healthcare you need in a calm and relaxing environment.

Also known as patellar sublimation, kneecap dislocation occurs when the patella bone, which is located in front of the knee, comes out of position. Consequently, the connective tissue that holds the bone in place may stretch and tear.

Kneecap dislocation is a very common injury when a person changes direction suddenly with their feet planted on the ground, such as during sports or when they are dancing. When you dislocate your kneecap for the first time, it will take approximately 6 weeks to heal.

Depending on the severity, kneecap dislocation may not cause the patient any problems or it may lead to the dislocation of the patella, in which the kneecap fully dislocates out of the joint.

Patellar sublimation and dislocation are conditions that usually occur in adolescents and younger children. Every year, kneecap dislocation affects 6 in 100,000 people in the United States. It accounts for approximately 1% of knee injuries.

Treatment & Drugs for Kneecap Dislocation

If your kneecap dislocation is minor, surgery will not be necessary. Instead, your physician will give you a series of recommendations you will need to follow so that your knee can heal properly, such as:

  • physical therapy, which will teach you how to use your leg without causing further damage and how to promote the healing of your dislocated kneecap
  • RICE therapy, which involves Resting the knee to prevent additional injury, Ice packs applied to the knee to reduce inflammation, Compression bandage usage to relieve swelling and offer support, and Elevating the knee to reduce swelling
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, whose purpose is to alleviate inflammation and pain
  • crutches or a cane to take the weight off the knee and help mobility
  • a brace to support the knee
  • shoe inserts, known as orthotics, to reduce stress on the knee
  • aspiration, a simple clinical procedure to remove excess fluid from the joint

However, in severe cases of kneecap dislocation, surgery is necessary, which can be of multiple types, depending on the extent of your injury. The following surgical procedures are used to treat a dislocated kneecap:

  • Arthroscopic surgery: This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that entails the surgeon inserting a camera and various surgical tools through tiny incisions around the knee, which will help determine the extent of the damage and perform the necessary repairs.
  • Reconstructive surgery: This surgery is performed for people with severely dislocated kneecaps, as well as for those with recurring kneecap dislocations. It implies the repair of the damaged tendons and ligaments and the removal and repair of the affected cartilage and bone. According to a study from 2015, surgeons most often perform reconstructive surgery to repair the medial patellofemoral ligament, which connects the inside of the kneecap to the long bone of the thigh.
  • Tibial tuberosity transfer: This is the most complex surgical approach for recurring kneecap dislocations. It involves the surgeon cutting a piece of the shin bone, medically known as the tibia, and moving it to a place that improves the stability and alignment of the kneecap. Subsequently, the surgeon may insert screws to help keep the bone in place while it is healing.

Symptoms of Kneecap Dislocation

People who experience kneecap dislocation will notice some or all of the following symptoms immediately after their injury:

  • tenderness and swelling around your knee
  • discomfort when you are walking
  • pain over the edges of the kneecap
  • collapsing of the knee that sometimes causes you to fall
  • a popping sensation
  • being unable to straighten the knee

Diagnosis of Kneecap Dislocation

The doctor can diagnose kneecap dislocation after conducting a physical exam. During the clinical examination, the physician will bend and straighten the injured knee and feel the area around the kneecap. They will also order X-rays to assess the extent of the damage inflicted by the injury to your kneecap, as well as to determine whether a fracture in the nearby area occurred.

The main cause of kneecap dislocation is an injury to the knee. It can occur during physical activity such as sports or dancing, during which excessive pressure is placed on the knee. However, there are certain factors whose presence increases the risk of experiencing a kneecap dislocation, such as:

  • being young
  • frequently engaging in physical activity
  • being a woman
  • anatomic risk factors such as trochlear dysplasia, patella alta, excessive tibial tubercle lateralization, and increased patellar tilt

Studies found that taking glucosamine and hyaluronic acid can speed up the healing of a kneecap that is not severely dislocated.

You can only prevent kneecap dislocation by being careful when you play sports or when you dance, as these are the most common circumstances in which a kneecap dislocation occurs.

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