The ability to see the dislocated kneecap as a lump on the side of the knee and the severe pain of the condition make kneecap dislocation, or displacement, easily identifiable. It occurs in those who have congenital knee deformities that make them prone to dislocation (some can dislocate their kneecaps with their hands), and it happens in patients with chondromalacia. Extreme stress on the kneecap can force dislocation in any individual as the result of a sudden twisting motion and quadriceps contraction. Kneecaps can be dislocated in car accidents in which a driver′s or passenger′s kneecap smacks against the dashboard when the person continues in motion after the car has suddenly stopped.
Dislocation can be seen as well as felt. The knee will refuse to bear weight and will respond to the displacement with intense pain.
In knee dislocation, the kneecap will be noticeably out of place, simply a bump on the side of the joint. Initially, in cases of dislocation, a physician will use a splint or brace and design an exercise program to strengthen the muscles holding the kneecap in place. If the kneecap is dislocated more than three times, surgery may be required to stabilize the knee.
This is a section from Dr. Jack E, Jensen′s book The One Stop Knee Shop. Read the next section Pain in the Sides of the Knee.