Knee dislocations are incredibly painful injuries that happen when your fibula and tibia move from their normal location away from the femur. The bones of your leg are held in place with strong ligaments but these ligaments tear during a knee dislocation. After this type of injury, there will be treatment and follow-up from your doctor.
Five Types of Knee Dislocation
While there are different types of knee dislocation depending on the tibial displacement, they break down into two main camps: low-velocity dislocations and high-velocity dislocations. Low-velocity dislocations usually occur during sports such as rugby, football, and lacrosse. They do not cause a lot of damage to the surrounding tissues or blood vessels and are usually fairly easy to treat.
On the other hand, high-velocity dislocations happen when a sudden force affects the knee and causes it to dislocate. One example of this is a car accident that causes the knee to twist and the bones to dislocate. With this form of injury, there is generally a lot of damage to the surrounding tissue and bones.
A patient who has a knee dislocation will suffer pain in the knee and may lose feeling in the lower leg and foot. If the dislocation is high-velocity, there will be a lot of bruising and possibly broken bones. Low-velocity dislocations will also have bruising but it will not be as pronounced. Some people will notice that their knees are off to the side or appear crooked, which are sure signs of a dislocated knee.
It’s important to get treatment right away if you have dislocated your knee. There are two main kinds of knee dislocation treatment in Singapore: conservative treatment that avoids surgery and operative treatment. Treatment is individualised depending on the type of dislocation, age, and health of the patient.
The first step in treating a dislocated knee is to have the leg put back into its normal position, known as a “reduction”. This is vital so that the body can begin to repair any damaged tissue, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves. After reduction, doctors will place a splint on the joint to keep any further damage from being done to the area while it is healing.
If there are broken bones, then there may need to be reconstructive surgery to fix the problems. After the reduction is complete and swelling has gone down, doctors will be able to tell the extent of the damage and if surgery is necessary. Of course, if arteries have been damaged and there is a risk of internal bleeding, surgery will be immediate to stop that threat and repair the damage.
Unfortunately, once you have had a dislocated knee, your chances of having it happen again increase. This is especially true for athletes as they tend to put the same pressure on their bodies and perform the same exercises and movements repeatedly. Icing a dislocated knee will help ease the pain on the way to the doctor but patients should not try to self-diagnose or treat this problem.