Treatment for a dislocated kneecap

Ifyour kneecap hasn't corrected itself by the time you get to hospital, a doctor will manipulate it back into place. This is known as a reduction.

You may be given medication to ensure you're relaxed and free from pain while this is done.

Oncethe kneecap isback in place, you may have an X-ray to check the bones are in the correct position and there's no other damage.

You'll be sent home with painkillers and your leg will normally be immobilised in aremovable splint to begin with. A few weeks of physiotherapy will be recommended to aid your recovery.

Surgery is usually only necessary if there was a fracture or another associated injury, such as a ligament tear. It may alsobedone if you have dislocated your kneecap at least once before.

See your GP ifthis doesn't control the pain.

During the first few days, you can help reduce any swelling by keeping your leg elevated when sitting and holding an ice pack to your knee for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.

Aphysiotherapist will teach you some exercisesto do at home to strengthen the muscles that stabilise your kneecap and improve the movement of your knee.

The splint should only be kept on for comfort and should be removed to do these exercises as soon as you're able to move your leg.

It usuallytakes about six weeks to fully recover from a dislocated kneecap, although sometimes itcantakea bit longer to return to sports or other strenuous activities.

Ask your GP, consultant or physiotherapist for advice about returning to your normal activities.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018