Dislocated Knee Treatment

A dislocated knee or kneecap is a painful condition which can result from trauma or quick sudden movements.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of knee dislocations aim to:

What is a dislocated knee?

The knee is comprised of the thigh bone (femur), the kneecap (patella) and the shin bone (tibia). These bones act to support and facilitate dynamic movement, and are stabilised by surrounding cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscle and tissue. A knee dislocation occurs on these bones. Types of knee dislocations include:

  1. Knee dislocation – when the position of the femur relative to the shinbone becomes misaligned at the knee joint
  2. Patellar (Kneecap) dislocation – where the patellar slips out of place, usually laterally

Dislocations and other serious injuries to the knee can result in damage to nearby nerves, blood vessels and other musculoskeletal structures, causing chronic pain or permanent injury.

Question mark

What are the causes?

The cause of a knee dislocation can vary in severity, and can greatly impair mobility and function.

Some common factors which can trigger a fracture include:

  • Hard falls – force absorbed by the knee
  • Trauma – car accidents or high-contact activity
  • Sports-related injuries – sudden impact against the knee
  • Abnormal, rapid and sudden pressure – against the knee joint
  • Health contraindications – low vitamin D/calcium + other nutrients, genetic predispositions (bone weakness), comorbid diagnoses (Knee OA, congenital dislocation, hypermobility, etc.), etc.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain (delayed or immediate) – can be sudden/severe/aching
    • Referred pain felt down the thigh and/or shin bones
    • Pain while walking/bending leg/standing
  • Stiffness/inability to move the knee joint
  • Popping or grinding sound (after injury/with movement)
  • Tenderness/painful to touch
  • Reduced or no range of movement
  • Inability/extreme difficulty to weight bear on the knee/leg
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Instability – feels like the joint is slipping out of place
Dislocated knee

Treatment for a knee dislocation

If you have dislocated your knee or kneecap, it is important to seek out immediate medical treatment. You will likely be referred for CT, X-ray or MRI scans to determine the extent of the injury.

Physical therapy is also highly beneficial in rehabilitating the structures around the knee after a dislocation to increase range of movement and strength. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue release (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use a supportive brace and crutches.

How to book an appointment?

If you have a dislocated knee, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our team at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you recovering from a knee dislocation? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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