Patella Dislocation Or Subluxation [Reduced]
The patella is another term for "kneecap." It is held in place by ligaments and tendons. When there is a severe force against the kneecap, the patella can slide to the side of the knee joint. This is called "subluxation" or "dislocation" depending on how far the patella moves away from its normal position.
Sometimes the patella will move back in place by itself. Otherwise, a doctor will have to move it back into place for you. As a result of this injury, the ligaments and tendons around the kneecap are torn or stretched. It will take about 4-6 weeks for these tissues to heal. Therefore, the knee must be protected during this time to prevent another injury.
Once a patella dislocation or subluxation has occurred, there is an increased risk that it may occur again. This is due to weakened tissues around the kneecap. When playing sports that have a high risk of knee injury (soccer, skateboard, football, skiing, snow board, skating, etc.) wear a protective knee brace and/or a padded shield. These devices add support to your knee and reduce risk of further injury.
1) Often a knee immobilizer will be applied to prevent any movement in the knee for the first few weeks. Unless otherwise advised, you may remove this for bathing and sleeping. However, you should wear it at other times you are out of bed, for the prescribed time.
2) If you were not given a knee immobilizer, you can use of an elastic tubular knee brace (which you can get in drug stores). This will give support during the healing period.
3) Apply an ice pack (ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel) over the injured area for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours the first day. Continue with ice packs 3-4 times a day for the next two days, then as needed for the relief of pain and swelling.
4) You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to control pain, unless another pain medicine was prescribed. [ NOTE : If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.]
5) No sports or P.E. until cleared by your doctor.
with your doctor in the next few weeks or as advised by our staff.
[NOTE: A radiologist will review any X-rays that were taken. We will notify you of any new findings that may affect your care.]
Get Prompt Medical Attention
if any of the following occur:
-- Increased knee pain or swelling
-- You are not able to bend your knee due to pain or locking of the joint
-- Redness or warmth over the knee, or pus or fluid from any abrasion on the knee
-- Not able to bear weight on the injured leg due to pain, or feeling like your knee is wobbly and might give out