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  • Emily-Haf

Knee Cap VS Knee dislocation, what’s the difference?


Knee cap dislocation and knee dislocation are two distinct conditions that involve different components of the knee joint. Here's a brief explanation of the differences between the two:


Knee Cap Dislocation (Patellar Dislocation/Subluxation):

· Knee cap dislocation, also known as patellar dislocation or subluxation, occurs when the kneecap (patella) moves out of its normal position within the groove at the end of the thigh bone (femur).

· It typically involves the patella shifting laterally (to the outer side) but can also occur medially (to the inner side).

· Patellar dislocation is often caused by sudden twisting movements, direct trauma, or muscle imbalances around the knee joint.

· Symptoms may include immediate pain, swelling, visible deformity, and difficulty bending or straightening the knee.

· Treatment involves initial immobilisation, pain management, and reduction of the dislocated patella.

· Physical therapy plays a vital role in strengthening the surrounding muscles and improving patellar stability.


Knee Dislocation:

· A knee dislocation refers to a more severe and potentially limb-threatening injury that involves the complete displacement of the bones that form the knee joint.

· It occurs when the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) lose contact with each other, resulting in the misalignment of the joint.

· Knee dislocations are typically caused by high-energy trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents or sports injuries.

· This injury often involves significant damage to multiple structures, including ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, and sometimes fractures.

· Symptoms may include severe pain, swelling, obvious joint deformity, inability to bear weight, and potential loss of sensation or pulses in the leg.

· Knee dislocations require immediate medical attention, and emergency reduction (realignment) is necessary.

· Surgical intervention is frequently required to repair ligaments, address fractures, and restore stability to the knee joint.

· Extensive rehabilitation, including physical therapy, is crucial to regain strength, range of motion, and functional abilities.


In summary, knee cap dislocation refers specifically to the displacement of the patella, whereas knee dislocation involves the complete dislocation of the knee joint, including the femur and tibia. While knee cap dislocation is relatively common and often less severe, knee dislocations are more serious injuries that require prompt medical attention and comprehensive treatment.


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