Your kneecap is located in its groove, and as long as this patella stays in the groove, you will be able to do various activities involving the knee and leg. Thus, there should be no complains about how you walk, sit, or bend your knee. However, accidents happen and a dislocated knee may occur as the result. When this kneecap slips out of the groove, it is dislocated, and pain is likely to occur when you are doing certain activities involving the knee. On the other hand, although you might feel unstable and weak, you can still walk or run if the kneecap stays inside the groove.
What happens to a dislocated kneecap?
The patella or kneecap connects the muscles in the front of the thigh to the shinbone, and as you bend or straighten the leg, this patella is going to be pulled up and down. This is possible as the thighbone has a groove to accommodate the movements produced by the patella. A trauma or forceful blow to this kneecap can pop the kneecap out of the groove, causing shifted patella.
Can I walk on a dislocated kneecap?
When you initially dislocate your kneecap, you are likely to experience weakness and excruciating pain. Since the kneecap is shifted from the groove where it should stay, movements might be very difficult to perform, if not painful. When initially dislocate your kneecap, you will be unstable, weak, and probably not able to either bend or straighten the affected knee. In addition to this instability, you are also likely to undergo massive discomfort and pain during the first week of the accident. Excessive swelling of the nearby tissues is another risk factor why walking and other physical activities involving the leg is not easy to do after the dislocation.
How can I help myself to walk during this time?
Losing your usual walking ability will get you a lot of hassles. Although it is almost impossible to walk after a knee dislocation, certain things can be done to help you do your daily chores with a dislocated knee.
- Wear a leg brace, which helps support your wobbly knee. You are advised to wear this instrument as this will help your knee support your entire body health. Since the muscles and tissues around the kneecap are influenced during the incident, the knee might still be unstable even though reduction or other treatments have been performed.
- Elevate your affected knee when lying down. Use pillows to support the knee while you are lying down to reduce the pain. However, it is advice that the leg brace is still worn while you’re sleeping, in order to prevent further dislocation as a result of wrong leg movement during the sleep.
- Support your body weight with crutches during the first weeks of the injury. These instruments are beneficial in helping you walk without putting too much pressure on the affected knee. Occasionally, you can try putting some pressure—but not too much—on the affected leg by still using the crutches.
- A week after the injury, it is advised to have your kneecap observed by an orthopedic surgeon. There might be some fluid trapped inside the groove, which makes leg movements painful. Have these fluid drained will also help you regain your knee strength eventually.
- Light exercises to strengthen your knee are recommended when the pain and swelling of the injury site has subsided. You can enroll yourself into a physical therapy, which will help you gaining the leg strength and movements after the injury.