May also be called: Knee Dislocation; Dislocation of the Patella
Patellar dislocation happens when the patella (kneecap) slips out of its normal position.
Patellar dislocation can happen as a result of a direct blow to the knee or when the knee gets twisted during sports play or in an accident. The patella may move back into place on its own, or the doctor may gently put the patella back with a quick maneuver called a reduction.
To help keep the patella from dislocating again, an immobilizer or brace must be worn on the knee for a few weeks and crutches might be needed to help with walking. Usually, a person can return to most normal activities within a couple of months, although returning to sports participation can take longer.
With rest and proper treatment, most people who have had a patellar dislocation can gradually return to their normal activities.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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