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Author Topic: 6 Months After First Time Knee Dislocation-- Need Advice!!  (Read 1979 times)

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Offline AF1744

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So I'm 19 years old, and very healthy, never having knee problems before. But 6 months ago I dislocated my left knee after landing from an attempted dunk. I went to the emergency room, had it snapped back in place (the patella was completely on the outside). No MRI was done, and other than having blood drained, every doctor said I would recover.

I started PT for about 2 months, but eventually had to leave the town I did PT in, and do it solely on my own. I did it for about a month, when school got so busy, and I felt I could finally play basketball again. However, 6 months later the knee still looks out place, it gives out often, sounds crunchy, and I get pain every now and then. I was wondering if this is normal, if by getting my VMO bigger my knee will be back straight, or if there is something seriously wrong with my knee that doctors did not notice when it was more swollen.

I cannot post a photo of my knee for reference but my left kneecap is very tilted with the right side of the knee cap very high, and my left side of the knee cap very low, while my right knee cap is just flat.

Some other notes:

-I try to take glucosamine daily now.
-I workout often doing lots of fully body exercises without weights , but do not a have a gym membership to bike and do leg presses which I think my knee needs.
-My knee gives out often, which isn't very painful, but feels very scary. Knee feels very unstable, and like it could redislocate or sublex at any time.
-I currently have a knee brace with small plates on the side of my knee that seems like it prevents dislocations, but my knee still gives out in it.

Thank you for any advice, and sorry if this is the wrong forum. Just need help, and fast!

Offline MrsMc

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Re: 6 Months After First Time Knee Dislocation-- Need Advice!!
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 11:58:53 PM »

I'm so sorry to hear you are having knee problems similar to mine.

I dislocated my knee almost two years ago.  Never felt right afterwards despite loves of physio and two keyhole procedures.  I have been sent to see various doctors/consultants/physiotherapists but none of them failed to see the real problem until I met the last doctor who told me I have a 'j, tracking knee (it tracks in a J shape on the outer side of my knee) and it is because I have shallow knee caps ( apparently something I have had since birth but never had any knee problems before my fall).  He has referred me for a trochleoplasty which is fairly heavy going but hoping it might help.

Anyway, I thought I would mention it as it sounds similar.  Obviously I am only talking from my own experience but do think you should get a second opinion if you can.  It has taken me 7 consultants and a handful of different physics to spot this problem!

Good luck!
Right knee dislocation October 2012.  Slipped in the kitchen 4 days after the birth of my second child.
Arthroscopy Lateral release July 2013
Arthroscopy feb 2014
Due to have trochleoplasty October 2014

Offline rob2278

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Re: 6 Months After First Time Knee Dislocation-- Need Advice!!
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 06:52:46 PM »

I had my first dislocation at age 12, three more at 14,  arthroscopic surgery at age 15 (medial reefing/lateral release) and lived for about 20 years with some subluxing, but no major dislocations. Until last year. I'm now 4 months post op MPFL reconstruction.

If you've never had knee issues, hopefully you fall into the category of 'traumatic' patella dislocation - as in, the patella dislocated due to the force of landing awkwardly on your foot, and not because you have genetic predispositions for the patella to jump (shallow troch groove, patella alta, etc). Only a good OS can determine that..

Of course, right now your main concern is the performance of your knee. When you have a dislocation, you can do a lot of damage in the knee joint - your MPFL almost surely has torn. Your meniscus often rips, as does the soft tissue surrounding your knee. A lot of times, the force from the patella rubbing against the femur creates bone fragments floating in the knee, or causes the bone to wear down a bit which often results in the grinding/popping.. For some people without any genetic disposition to dislocations, the knee heals, and you can get back to activity as before the injury. For others, the dislocation compromises the stability of the joint and surgery may be needed.

As I said, I went 20 years of subluxing without any side issues. My patella would often partially pop out of place during an activity, but pop right back in. Sometimes my knee would end up sore for a few days, and in rare instances I'd have a little swelling.. but I could return to my activities almost right away.

When I had my first true dislocation in 20 years, it was a different story. Of course my knee blew up like a balloon.. but I quickly found in PT that my knee felt very unstable. My patella even looked like it was tracking laterally. The knee literally didn't look the same once my swelling subsided, and it didn't feel the same at all. I was limited in my activities.. I went back to my OS six months after the dislocation, and he told me that if I wanted an active lifestyle that I'd need surgery.

My advice is to find a good OS, get an MRI, and see what's going on in your knee. You can build your VMO so that it looks like a bodybuilder but it's only going to help so much if there are instability issues and damage.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 06:56:20 PM by rob2278 »
Knee History:

01/1990 - R Knee - removal of bone chips
05/1990 - L Knee - dislocation
Fall 1991- L Knee - 2 dislocations
12/1991 - L Knee - LR/MR
1992-2013 L Knee subluxations
04/2008 - R knee reconstruction (torn patellar/quad tendons)
04/2013 - L knee - dislocation
01/31/2014 -MFPL reconstruction