Symptoms and Signs of Dislocated Knee

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 7/15/2022

Doctor's Notes on Dislocated Knee

A knee dislocation refers to the bones of the knee joint being out of place. The ligaments of the knee must tear for a knee dislocation to occur and allow the bones to take on an abnormal position. Knee dislocation is not a common injury. It is usually caused by a major trauma such as a fall, car crash, or other high-speed injury.

Signs and symptoms of a knee dislocation include

  • a deformed or misaligned appearance to the knee,
  • severe pain in the knee,
  • inability or reduced ability to move the knee joint, and
  • swelling of the knee.

Other associated symptoms in serious cases can include loss of feeling or sensation below the knee or loss of a pulse below the knee.

What is the treatment for dislocated knee?

The treatment for a dislocation of the knee includes reduction of the dislocation, or manipulation of the bones back into their normal position.

  • Medications to control pain and aid in relaxation are typically given.
  • Surgery may be needed if other injuries are also present.
  • After restoration of normal anatomy, the knee is immobilized for a period of time in a splint.
  • Physical therapy is often recommended following the injury.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.