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Author Topic: Patella dislocation questions  (Read 273 times)

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Offline MarkP4

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Patella dislocation questions
« on: February 10, 2018, 10:35:15 AM »
Hi everyone, I dislocated my knee cap on Sunday morning and had to call 999. Paramedics came and popped it back into place. They took me to A&E for an x-ray and I was told there was no lasting or permanent damage. I came away with a leg brace, crutches and exercises (to do 4 times a day).

All this week I've been bed-bound but I'm only now starting to get my confidence back in my knee. For the past few days, each time I do the exercises my knee really feels like it's getting stronger. I've been eating well and drinking plenty of water too. However, I've got a few questions:

1. Showering (when the shower/bath is combined) is near impossible as it means bending my knee to get into the bath. Should I avoid doing this during the rehab phase (3 weeks according to the physio)?

2. When should I stop using my crutches and/or leg brace? Last night I was able to walk with just holding onto a desk chair. I felt no pain, it was just my confidence holding me back. Regarding my leg brace, I wear this constantly other than to cool my knee down or get changed/clean myself. Should I make sure to keep this on for the remaining two weeks?

3. I don't want to go overboard and tire my knee out or put too much strain on it. Is there anything I should be avoiding or, on the flip side, doing to my knee during the next two weeks of my recovery?

4. What would people suggest to try to avoid further dislocations? I understand that further dislocations are more common after the first one.

I understand these are very specific questions but any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, please feel free to share your experiences of the same injury, it's great to read other people's experiences.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 10:37:50 AM by MarkP4 »

Offline leahjg-90

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Re: Patella dislocation questions
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 11:56:56 AM »
Hi Mark,

Sorry to hear about your dislocation! I have had 8 right knee dislocations, so will try and help answer as many of your questions as possible - although everyone is really different with recovery.

You are right that one dislocations puts you at risk of further dislocations - which is why I am on number 8 and waiting for surgery next month!
How did you dislocation happen? Mine have all been due to small slips and trips, my foot locking in one position and my leg/knee continuing to move.


1. Showering. Took me around 4 weeks to shower alone (with a shower/bath), however in the mean time while I was struggling to bend the knee - my husband helped get me in and out. A combination of using my crutch and his shoulder.

2. Crutches and brace for me were very much down to how secure I felt with me knee. Years ago they used to immobilise dislocations with a cast - however this caused lots of muscle atrophy in the quads. I stopped using my crutches after 12 weeks - however I am dislocation 8. Brace -wise, again I was fully off it by 10 weeks. I would follow advice off your physio and doctor - however, I became more comfortable and confident quicker without the brace. The brace and crutch can cause really bad walking habits.

3. Avoiding twisting.... definitely avoid!! I did a lot of straight leg lifts with ankle weights, gradual full weight bearing, and slowly getting the bend back in the knee. I used to sit in bed at night and practise bending as far as I could and hold it there.

4. I don't know how to advise on avoiding further dislocations - I am on my 8th. For some people, physio will be fine and they'll never dislocate again. However my MRI showed I have a flat trochlea groove (where the knee-cap should sit), so that explains mine. Ligament damage following a dislocation can also cause further ones.
I would just avoid excessive twisting and avoiding your foot being locked while you twist - if that makes sense!!


Good luck, and feel free to ask any more questions if needed.

Leah :)

Offline MarkP4

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Re: Patella dislocation questions
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 01:36:20 PM »
Hi Mark,

Sorry to hear about your dislocation! I have had 8 right knee dislocations, so will try and help answer as many of your questions as possible - although everyone is really different with recovery.

You are right that one dislocations puts you at risk of further dislocations - which is why I am on number 8 and waiting for surgery next month!
How did you dislocation happen? Mine have all been due to small slips and trips, my foot locking in one position and my leg/knee continuing to move.


1. Showering. Took me around 4 weeks to shower alone (with a shower/bath), however in the mean time while I was struggling to bend the knee - my husband helped get me in and out. A combination of using my crutch and his shoulder.

2. Crutches and brace for me were very much down to how secure I felt with me knee. Years ago they used to immobilise dislocations with a cast - however this caused lots of muscle atrophy in the quads. I stopped using my crutches after 12 weeks - however I am dislocation 8. Brace -wise, again I was fully off it by 10 weeks. I would follow advice off your physio and doctor - however, I became more comfortable and confident quicker without the brace. The brace and crutch can cause really bad walking habits.

3. Avoiding twisting.... definitely avoid!! I did a lot of straight leg lifts with ankle weights, gradual full weight bearing, and slowly getting the bend back in the knee. I used to sit in bed at night and practise bending as far as I could and hold it there.

4. I don't know how to advise on avoiding further dislocations - I am on my 8th. For some people, physio will be fine and they'll never dislocate again. However my MRI showed I have a flat trochlea groove (where the knee-cap should sit), so that explains mine. Ligament damage following a dislocation can also cause further ones.
I would just avoid excessive twisting and avoiding your foot being locked while you twist - if that makes sense!!


Good luck, and feel free to ask any more questions if needed.

Leah :)

Thanks Leah! This really helped.

Two weeks on and I can bend my knee slightly without any pain. However, when my knee is straight I sometimes get throbbing pain coming from my patella bone (more or less the centre of my knee). It feels quite warm but isn't all that swollen. I really don't know what it could be. It happens after I walk but it's only when I walk a centre way or move my knee a certain way. Afterwards, when I put my leg up, the pain comes and goes. Should I be worried? Has anyone experienced anything like this before?

Offline leahjg-90

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Re: Patella dislocation questions
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 05:11:29 PM »
Hi Mark
It all sounds pretty normal - I had about 4 weeks of swelling and still get some now if I over exert, dislocations are traumatic to all the soft tissue and ligaments around the patella.
If you’re really worried talk to your consultant or GP.
I know it seems tough and never ending - but it does get better. I barely remember not being able to fully bend my knee now.
Keep practicing the bending - in bed I find the best place.
Good luck.