Knee dislocation is an injury that involves two bones (femur and tibia respectively) losing contact. It’s a severe injury and also very rare. It’s very common in athletes and sportsperson. Sometimes, people confuse knee dislocation to patellar dislocation which involves a detached kneecap from the groove which is at the femur’s end. The primary treatment for knee dislocation involves non-operative and surgical/operative methods. The operative method consists of surgery, while non-operative involves conservative measures. Much attention is directed towards minimizing the nerves or blood vessels damage than when the damage is stabilized then treatment of structural tissues begins.

Treating knee dislocation through surgery

Knee dislocation may lead to various problems that require surgery to rectify. These include damage of the cartilage, tearing of meniscus, and ligament injuries. Whenever an artery has been damaged in a knee dislocation, a direct repair must be done to restore the affected blood vessel. This repair could be done through or using synthetic grafts, a patch, or vein transplant. Other methods of treating a damaged artery include embolectomy or an arterial bypass to remove a blood clot if there is any. To bypass or replace a blocked section of an artery, a graft is used. Usually, the graft is synthetically made from a plastic tube or non-synthetic- a blood vessel-vein, mostly taken from the other leg. Both bypass and vein extraction surgeries occur at the same time. Surgical treatment for knee dislocation is performed by making a large incision using scalpels (open operation) or by use of a scope, keyhole incisions, and tubal instruments (arthroscopy operation). An expert in neurons- a neurologic surgeon, is required to repair nerve damage while lost cartilages can be restored through cartilage transfer or implantation.

Knee relocation

For proper treatment for knee dislocation, knee relocation would be required. It’s a process where the orthopedic or an emergency doctor moves the lower leg to its original normal position. The procedure is known as a “reduction” process, and it’s a painful process, so the patient is given a conscious sedative to ease the pain. Reduction helps in the repair of damaged blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, and skeletal tissues. To prevent further dislocation, the knee is then placed in support to immobilize it for about eight to ten days.

What if the knee dislocation involved broken bones?

Though uncommon, sometimes a dislocated knee may have broken bones. In such cases, reconstructive surgery is required to fix the broken bones. The decision on whether a reconstructive surgery is necessary or not is made by a bone specialist (orthopedic), once the swelling on the knee lessens. It’s good to take care since once a dislocated knee may be commonplace for recurrent dislocations. For athletes, recurrent knee dislocations are widespread. Once a knee dislocation occurs, it’s wise to seek medical treatment because self-administered treatment for knee dislocation is not reliable. The most recommended action in case of a knee dislocation is to be examined by a doctor and get immediate knee relocation through the reduction process. Also, it’s advisable to place ice on the knee to numb it and ease the pain and swelling. Relocation is not a surgical process, and it’s the first medical procedure in treating a dislocated kneecap.