Knee Dislocation

What is knee dislocation?

Knee dislocation is considered as an unusual and extremely serious injury of the knee. When the thigh bone and shin bone lose their contact between each other, it leads to knee dislocation. A knee dislocation and patellar dislocation are two different conditions. Knee dislocation may occur as a result of severe falls, motor accidents and sports injuries. Knee dislocations are considered as high-energy traumatic injuries. Knee dislocation is a result of ligament damage which causes the knee to collapse. A knee dislocation requires a proper reset, otherwise it may lead to serious issues.


Knee dislocation causes significant damage to the soft tissues around the joint. Ligaments are also damaged due to knee dislocation. In most cases, both the anterior as well as posterior cruciate ligaments are torn. Apart from that, there can be damages in the cartilage, meniscus and collateral ligaments. A knee dislocation becomes more problematic when it causes damage to the important nerves and vascular structures around it. Vascular injuries caused due to knee dislocation can be threatening and is a medical emergency.


If the doctor suspects the patient is having knee dislocation, he/she will first carry out a physical examination. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will suggest an x-ray to evaluate the dislocation. To evaluate further, the doctor may suggest an angiogram (to evaluate the blood vessels).


One of the main objectives of the treatment is to repair the nerve or vascular injuries if there is any. When those issues are addressed, the doctor will start treating for the cartilage, meniscus and ligament damages. The damaged ligaments need to correct surgically. In most cases, surgery will be required to reconstruct multiple ligaments. ACL and PCL are the most commonly reconstructed ligaments after a knee dislocation. Other objectives of the surgery include:

Repairing the cartilage damage
Repairing or cleaning up of the meniscus tears


Some of the complications after knee dislocation include:

Nerve damage and vascular injury
Knee stiffness
Knee instability

These complications can be tackled with physiotherapy and exercises.

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