Patellar dislocation or a kneecap dislocation is one of those knee injuries you might accidentally get. This is a painful injury and may result in inhibited movements of the affected knee. In most cases, a knee dislocation is followed by severe swelling of the injury site and triggers weakness and inability to straighten the dislocated patella. When you are suffering from a severe kneecap dislocation, there might be an injury to the surrounding tissues and muscles instead of merely the patella. This way, there might be some blood trapped inside the groove where the patella used to sit on, which needs to be medically drained. Thus, a professional assistance is required.
Will a dislocated knee heal itself?
A dislocated knee can possibly be caused by simply a twist of the knee or a major force to the patella area. Either one will cause the patella that sits on the groove shifts aside to the outward position of the knee. When this happens, your kneecap will appear deformed and pain sensation might increase. In order to observe possible effects to the other area of the knee, it is important to see a doctor immediately. Although leaving a dislocated knee untreated is not advised, there are certain conditions that make it possible for a dislocated kneecap to heal itself:
- The dislocated kneecap is triggered by leg twisting or light bump to one side of the kneecap. This risk factor may not cause any injuries or damages to other areas of the knee, seeing the possible strength of force it gives.
- The dislocated knee can be easily brought back to its place. When a kneecap is dislocated, it shifts from its groove into the outward side. If your dislocated knee can easily get back into its place, there should not be any other injury to the knee area. If you see a severe deformity following a knee dislocation, you should consider seeing a doctor rather than waiting for the problem to improve by itself.
- There is no elevating pain accompanying the kneecap dislocation. A dislocated kneecap is definitely going to be painful. However, this associated pain should subside during the healing process. Thus, if you are experiencing elevating pain instead of subsiding pain accompanying a dislocated knee, you should not wait for the injured knee to heal itself. Instead, go to the doctor immediately, as some medical treatments might be required.
- The knee is not wobbly and weak. A dislocated knee is mostly associated with weakened and wobbly knee, as the kneecap is shifted and the muscles around the groove are affected. In even worse scenario, the knee joint is affected that knee movements become almost impossible. You can expect a knee dislocation to heal itself when this does not happen with your injury. Otherwise, seeing a doctor immediately is advised.
Helping a dislocated knee heal itself at home
The most initial thing to perform when you are suffering from a dislocated kneecap is bringing the shifted kneecap back into its original position inside the groove. Once this is accomplished, some things can be done to improve healing without any professional medical assistance.
Apply RICE technique to the injury site
RICE techniques stand for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. These are four treatments you can perform in order to improve a dislocated knee that has brought back into its original position.
- Rest your dislocated kneecap and minimize movements during the initial healing phase.
- Apply an ice compress onto the injury to help bring down the inflammation and minimize the pain. Wrap an ice cube with a towel and put it on the injury site for 15 to 20 minutes, giving 20-minute interval between each compressing session.
- Elevation is essential for inhibiting excessive blood supply into the injury site, so that the pain can be minimized. Support the leg with a pillow when lying down to provide proper elevation that will help improving the entire healing process.
Do not put too much pressure on the dislocated kneecap
Pressure on the kneecap may be resulted from walking and other movements your knee is doing. Hence, it is essential to minimize knee movements during the healing process. If you are doing chores and daily activities, support your injured or dislocated knee with either crutches or knee gear. This will help reducing the pressure on the knee and promote faster healing. Avoid heavy activities for the first two to three weeks after the knee dislocation