You’ll probably have twisted your knee a number of times before, doing activities like sports or dancing. With a dislocation, you’ll have a sudden pain in the knee which may be severe, and your knee will then give way. The knee will swell within the next few hours.
Following a dislocation you probably won’t be able to put any weight on the affected leg and you might feel unstable. Your knee will look crooked and out of shape.
The kneecap or patella normally comes out of place after a minor injury. It happens because the groove in which the kneecap sits is shallow. It is a fairly straightforward job to put the kneecap back in place, and once it’s done the pain should get better instantly. However, you may well find your knee is still unstable even after the kneecap has been replaced.
Following a dislocation the kneecap will urgently need to be put back in place. Some patients learn how to do it themselves. Once the kneecap is back in position you’ll need to do knee strengthening exercises and may need surgery too.
Surgery may be used to repair the ligaments or to reshape the groove in the knee, which is a procedure known as trochlearplasty.