Knee dislocation

A knee dislocation is an injury where the knee joint moved out of place where the bones do not fit correctly. The knee can end up dislocated if the knee ligaments are torn.

The knee joint can end up dislocated by the following:

  • Abrupt twisting of the body while the feet remains in one place
  • Striking the knee forcefully
  • Hyperextension of the leg or forcibly straightening beyond the normal position

What are the signs?

The usual signs of a knee dislocation include:

Knee dislocation
A knee dislocation requires immediate treatment to prevent lasting impairment to the blood vessels and nerves.
  • Intense knee pain after an injury
  • Deformed knee
  • Rapid inflammation of the knee joint
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the foot

Management of a knee dislocation

A knee dislocation requires immediate treatment to prevent lasting impairment to the blood vessels and nerves.

The doctor will attempt to restore the joint into its right position. This is easier to perform right after the injury. If medical care is delayed, the doctor will provide an anesthetic before moving the knee joint into place to prevent pain and muscle spasms.

The doctor will place the knee in a splint during the initial few weeks. Depending on the injury, the doctor will recommend early range-of-motion exercises or decide to place the knee in a splint for a few more weeks. In addition, exercises for the quadriceps are suggested to prevent the loss of strength in the leg.

Oftentimes, there is damage to the cartilage and ligaments of the knee once dislocated. In such instances, surgery is often required to fix the damage.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on knee dislocation is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly manage this injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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