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Patella Dislocation / Dislocated Kneecap

What is a dislocated kneecap and why does it happen?

The patella, otherwise known as the knee cap, is a bone that sits in the front of the knee joint. When the knee bends and straightens the patella provides extra support and acts as leverage to provide more power and stability to the knee joint. The muscles around the knee pull on the knee cap. If some of the muscles are too tight or pull too strongly the patella can “pop out of place”. This can also happen if there is a moment of contact on the patella that pushes it out of place.

Once the patella is out of its typical resting spot, the verticle groove on the knee joint, it may stay out of place – but often slides back in on its own. Like any dislocation, the chances of reoccurrence increase with every time that it dislocates. After a dislocation happens swelling, muscle tension, and ligament laxity may occur, which decreases the stability of the joint. It is important to restore stability, strength, and mobility to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence.

How can sports chiropractic provide dislocated kneecap treatment?

As stated above, the stability of the joint is compromised after a dislocation occurs. To reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence muscle work, muscle strengthening, and patient education are key. Therapeutic exercise is used to reactivate muscles that may not be firing properly and to reduce muscle tension.

When can I start getting treatment?

It is recommended to get an evaluation directly after a patella dislocation to make sure there is no vascular or neurological compromise. Other concerns are ligament ruptures, bone bruising, or fractures. Once these have been ruled out, rehabilitation and treatment can start the same day. At Chiros in Motion, we focus on joint motion, joint stability, muscle firing patterns, and reducing inflammation to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence. Make an appointment to have your knee evaluated!

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