A kneecap dislocation can result in many problems, ranging from extreme pain to the inability to walk. It's critical to receive immediate care after this injury, as it's the only way you'll know exactly what you need to do to heal.
After an exam, your doctor will order an X-ray or MRI to get a better look at your kneecap. More specifically, they'll check to make sure the bone did not break and that there is no additional damage to the surrounding area.
If tests show that you only have a kneecap dislocation, you can expect the following:
- A recovery period typically somewhere between six and eight weeks
- The use of a brace or splint for several weeks to keep your knee immobilized
- The use of crutches to avoid putting too much weight on your knee
- Physical therapy to strengthen the knee and regain full range of motion
If your doctor determines that your kneecap is unstable or damaged beyond repair, surgery may be necessary.
Activity after a kneecap dislocation should be kept to a minimum, as taking on too much can result in additional damage. Listen to your doctor regarding how much you should move, when you can put weight on your knee and the best types of activities to help you heal.
If you suffer a kneecap dislocation or other injury on the job, you need to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. Since you're not likely to be able to immediately return to work, you'll want to consider your rights and find out what you're entitled to under the workers' compensation system.