Dislocation of the knee is caused by a traumatic event such as a fall, a car accident, or a direct blow to the knee. It can also occur after a twisting injury or a blow to the side of the knee.
A dislocation of the knee is usually diagnosed by a physical exam and by taking X-rays to rule out any fractures. The doctor may also check for any signs of nerve or vascular damage.
The differential diagnosis for a dislocated knee includes a fracture of the lower leg, an ACL tear, or a meniscal tear.
Treatment for a dislocated knee includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The doctor may also recommend a brace or crutches to support the knee while healing. Surgery may be necessary to repair any nerve or blood vessel damage or to repair any torn ligaments or cartilage.
The prognosis for a dislocated knee is generally good as long as there is no nerve or blood vessel damage. Most people can return to their normal activities within a few weeks to a few months. However, some individuals may need physical therapy to regain full range of motion and strength in their knee.