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Medical Expertise for a Dislocated Knee Cap

A dislocated patella injury happens when the kneecap slips out of its natural position. Our board certified trained sports medicine physicians at University Hospitals have the expertise and experience to diagnose, manage and treat patients with patella dislocation.

Nonsurgical Treatment for Kneecap Injury

A kneecap dislocation needs immediate medical attention. Generally at an urgent care or emergency department, doctors will treat the often sharp pain in the knee cap with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and apply gentle pressure to move the kneecap back into place, a process called reduction.

The RICE method of rest, ice, compression and elevation can also be used as a first response to treat the kneecap injury. When treated early, most dislocations do not cause permanent injury. However, sometimes dislocated patella surgery is needed to repair a ligament that tears when the joint is dislocated.

Innovations in Care from Arthroscopy to Rehab for Dislocated Patella

Occasionally a piece of bone or cartilage can dislodge or loosen when the kneecap dislocates. This can be seen on an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. If the patient fails to get knee pain relief from more conservative treatments, open or arthroscopic surgery may offer pain and long-term relief.

Our comprehensive team, including sports medicine doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers, customize comprehensive treatment programs for each patient to restore function and strength after a kneecap injury or arthroscopic surgery.

Understanding Risk Factors for Kneecap Dislocation

Kneecap dislocations occur most often in teenage athletes and younger adults. In fact, patients younger than 20 are at a higher risk for this type of injury. Additionally, tall, overweight males and teenage girls are predisposed to kneecap dislocations. Sports and activities that result in twisting movements may increase the risk of kneecap or patellar injuries, including:

  • Baseball
  • Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice hockey
  • Soccer
  • Trauma to knee
  • Weight lifting

Sports Medicine Rehabilitation for Athletes

Our sports medicine rehabilitation programs are designed with a certified athletic trainer to encompass sports-specific skill training that can quickly return an athlete to full athletic participation. Therapy focuses on regaining strength as well as improving function for specific injuries such as kneecap dislocation.

For More Information about Knee Pain

If you have issues with knee pain, or would like to learn more about knee treatments at University Hospitals, contact one of our team members at any of our convenient locations.