Kneecap Dislocation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

The knee is one of the joints that suffers the most on a daily basis, as it is indispensable for moving the legs and supports the weight of the body. This is why dislocation of the kneecap is relatively frequent.

Dislocation of the kneecap is a traumatic injury, which implies an inadequate displacement of the kneecap or patella. Its severity depends on the characteristics of such displacement and the presence of other associated injuries.

The knee itself is a joint that suffers a great deal in everyday life, since it bears the weight of the body to a great extent and is fundamental in countless movements. That is why it is not uncommon for it to present different affections.

Dislocation of the kneecap is one of the most common injuries among athletes. It is usually quite painful and requires urgent medical attention. It is often accompanied by other injuries.

What is kneecap dislocation?

The kneecap is the bone responsible for protecting the knee. It also makes possible the biomechanical junction of the quadriceps. This, in turn, extends vertically into a groove in the femur. It is this whole structure that allows the knee to bend and extend.

It should be noted that the kneecap is located inside a cavity. When this bone moves or comes completely out of the cavity, dislocation of the kneecap occurs. If the displacement is not as large, it is called subluxation.

Dislocation of the kneecap, along with chondromalacia patella are the two most common injuries to the kneecap or patella. Dislocation has a higher incidence in children and young people aged 10 to 18 years. It affects women more than men.

Causes and risk factors

As a general rule, dislocation of the kneecap is caused by a blow or inadequate movement. The most usual is that the injury is generated by making a sharp turn, when the feet are very fixed on the ground. It is also often the result of a fall or impact.

However, there are also other factors that predispose and influence indirectly for kneecap dislocation to occur. These are:

Its function is to keep the kneecap in position during movement. When it is weak, it constitutes a risk factor for kneecap dislocation.

Flat feet. Flat feet cause misalignments throughout the body. This predisposes the kneecap to come out of its cavity relatively easily.
Femoral angle larger than normal. The femoral angle, or Q angle, when very large causes the knees to be very close together. This leads to an increased risk of the kneecap slipping out of place as the leg is extended.

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