The kneecap, or patella bone, is anteriorly located on the knee joint and helps to protect and maintain proper mobility of the knee joint. This part of the knee is invaluable and is susceptible to injury and dislocation. An injury to the patella can misalign the kneecap and move this bone out of place. A patellar subluxation occurs when the kneecap is not fully dislocated yet. Without proper treatment, this can lead to a full Patellar Dislocation. In several sports activities like basketball and soccer, a kneecap dislocation may be a common injury as a result of overstretching of ligaments that surround the patella.
The kneecap can be easily seen in all patients, and its mobility easily tested. The patella should easily be able to be moved manually a few millimeters up and down and side to side. Many times, after an injury, the patient is able to see if their kneecap appears to be out of place or out of alignment with the rest of the joint. Or they will be able to feel that it is not tracking properly. Obvious visibility of a misaligned kneecap will not always be present, however. Many times, patients not only experience significant knee pain in the case of a dislocation, but there are other patellar dislocation symptoms that you need to be aware of. These symptoms include:
● The knee is misshapen or off-center
● The knee joint is swollen and tender, red or warm
● The knee is bent and you experience pain and the inability to straighten the leg
● A loose kneecap meaning that the patella’s movement side to side or up and down is much greater and feels looser than what is considered normal motion of the patella
● A completely immobile kneecapIf You Are Experiencing Symptoms, Schedule an Appointment Dr. Burke Orthopedics Immediately.