• Sun, Jul 9 2006

Dislocated Knee Injury

Well, here’s something that has put a snag in my efforts to lose weight and get in healthier shape. I dislocated my left knee yesterday.

I had taken my kids to the playground behind my parents’ church. For the first time in months, I had tons of energy because I’d worked out in the morning and was drinking lots of water. But when I put my 3-year-old on this tricycle merry-go-round thing, the handlebar jabbed my left kneecap, knocking it to the side.

It shocked me how much it hurt, and I crumpled to the ground. My older daughter ran to get my purse that had my cell phone in it. Within a few minutes, my mom, dad, and brother were there — and my husband was on his way.

They realized the pain was too intense for them to carry me up the hill to get to the hospital, so they called an ambulance. So, I was lying on this playground for about 30 minutes, about to pass out from the pain and 90+ degree heat. When the EMTs arrived, they had to give me morphine in order to get me moved on to the stretcher. I finally resorted to using breathing techniques I’d used during labor, but I told them this knee injury hurt worse than anything I’ve ever been through.

OK — so this was my first experience riding in an ambulance. It’s certainly not something that was on my agenda for the day. The EMTs kept ice on my knee and kept it as still as possible while they transported me. It was extremely painful again when they moved me from the stretcher to the hospital bed. In fact, one of the hospital staff whispered in my ear, “M’am, this is going to hurt like hell, but it will be quick.” That seemed to help!

Well, I’m home now, with a knee brace and crutches. The x-rays came out good, showing that I wouldn’t need surgery, and a doctor manually rotated my knee cap back into place. Next week, I’ll go to an orthopedic surgeon and probably start some physical therapy.

I feel so discouraged right now, mad at myself, even though this was an accident and couldn’t have been prevented. I’m trying to think positive — and wonder if my experience might be able to help someone else. Even though I won’t be able to exercise like I have been for several weeks, there are still things I CAN do for my health. I can continue to drink my water, eat small, healthy portions of food, and do upper body exercises that still allow me to keep my knee immobilized while it heals.

Of course, I’ve been reading a lot about patellar dislocation. Here are few sites I’ve found helpful:
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia: Knee Cap Dislocation
Penn Health Knee Cap Dislocation
Self Magazine Knee Forum (includes strengthening exercises)

I’ve got to keep myself upbeat, think lively, and see this as part of my journey of healthy living!

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  • http://thedabblingmum.com Dabbling Mum

    Oh Heather!

    That sounds so painful. I hope you feel better soon and glad it’s fixable. Don’t get discouraged. God will get you back up to speed in no time.

  • http://www.aheartylife.com Hsien Lei

    Oh my goodness! It sounds awful!!!!!! OUCH OUCH OUCH.

    Hope you’ll get a chance to rest and let it heel (although a busy mom like you will never get enough rest). Big hugs and an ice pack too!!

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  • http://holymama.typepad.com HolyMama!

    i can’t believe that happened to you – what a weird accident! morphine and an ambulance?!

    I love your healthy outlook and dedication. you inspire me, as usual!

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  • http://eph2810.com eph2810

    Ouch, Heather. I am so sorry to hear that you are/were is so much pain. I hope that you will heal very soon. I like your attitude – keep doing the things you can do, like drinking water and exercise as much as you can.:)
    (((hugs)))

  • http://blog.atih.com Blair

    Oh my gosh Heather!!! How awful!! ((HUGS)) Praying for a quick recovery!

  • sara

    Oh Heather, I hope you’ll feel better soon! Praying for you.

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  • AMIE

    Hi

    I have done the same thing. I was working out to.
    Fail in the bathroom. Now it has been 7 weeks and I still cant pick up my leg.I am in P.T and hate I it. Thank you for wrighting this .I dont feel so alone.

  • imogen

    that accident sounds dreadful! i also dislocated my knee only last week during physical education at school!! it was the most excruciating pain i have ever felt in my life and i do not wish it upon anyone!

  • Jade

    hi all, i dislocated my knee when jumping round in dance (p.e) but when it was put back in and evrerything soo much better, we went to the doctors everything was fine, they check the way it moved and evrything exsept a xray or the other x ray, i was a bit worried , the doctors gave me nothing and it was a bit bad, because my nan heard of my knee and she is a nurse-wardern, and she said no matter how bad or how good the injury is u still need surrport it was really bad that niether hospital or the GP gave me surport, so my nan got me used clean cluches and my mum got a knee surport from the chemist, (one you pull up and onto the knee) i mean i think i was very lucky for it not to be so serioes, but we went to the doctors again yestoday just to see if they could do anything and the doctor said we can book you a phsio , least i got a little bit more!!, i mean i should have been given knee surport for the first few days.
    Don’t you think?

  • http://www.livelywomen.com Kristen King

    Hi, Jade,

    I would think so! If your knee was dislocated, surely the tendons or ligaments or whatever it is that holds knees in place were strained, and supporting the joint with a brace would have allowed them to rest a little and get things back in shape. I’m surprised the doctors didn’t do this for you, but I’m glad your nan and mum were there to help you out and get you the support you needed.

    Kristen

  • Donna

    I also have a dislocated knee. It happened christmas day. I was bending over to get my 2 year old daughter out of her carseat[two-door car]and somehow twisted my leg and felt my knee pop out of place and I plummeted to the ground. I am in a splint for about 5 weeks, just recently got off of the cruthches.It was the worst pain I have ever felt. I just hope it heals up all the way and doesn’t happen again so I can get back to my normal life. I guess you never know when something like this could happen to you. I feel for everyone that this has happened to.

  • http://rogers.com nashad

    wtf! i deslocated my knee 2day at school at lunch (11:20) and bared it till 3:00 when i reached home.why r u makin a big deal its not dat bad ive been in worst pain (im only 13)

  • Jade

    im 13 too and by the way i bared it as long as u!
    i mean don’t be stupit and tough because you have to admit that it really hurts

  • Kel

    How is your knee now, Heather? I have suffered dislocated knee problems off and on since I was ten, I’m now in my mid-thirties. (They are more painful as I age, for you younger chicks up there.) You are right about the PT Amie, it is a necessary evil. If this is a recurring issue for you, you will need to keep up with the PT to prevent further serious injury and more pain. And Jade, you are also correct in that the very least the doctors should have given you was some type of sports wrap and told you to rest and ice your knee. Hopefully you’ll not have chronic pain. Good luck to all!

  • Emily

    I am just recently 14, and nashad, you have to understand: EVERY KNEE INJURY IS DIFFERENT.
    there are so many different possibilities as to how far a knee can get shoved out of place, how quickly, and how much damage is done in the process. Also, the reasons for the dislocation is very important: for instance, chronic knee instability causes a much different pain than an accident.
    .. Just wanted you to realize that :)
    Sorry to hear, Heather, that sounds really scary!

  • Emily

    (I know when I dislocated my knee, there is no way I would have “baret” it, as you guys put it, for another few hours unless there was no other choice. it was excruciating, definitely.)

  • Antonio

    Hey too bad for you hope u feel better and don’t worried i also dislocated my knee yesterday your not alone=). I’m in pain but the good thing is that when i was going to fall my knee got back on it’s place it was really weird that my knee got back in it’s spot but i think i’m ok i already know what to do because I dislocated my my knee 3 yrs ago and i heel but i’m back on this situation I still have to go to the doctor to see if my knee is in good condition or if i need surgery dam i scared.

  • Kate

    I know how you feeel and I am only 13, my right knee has dislocated 4 times in the past year and only today did my left knee dislocate, at school, I was just walking!

    I had to be taken to hospital by the Paramedics (I is English you see) and my knee was put back in but now I’m on crutches and in platser for the next 6 days. Its real unfair cos my mum won’t leave off about my bloody schoolwork (I have exams next week) and I am really down in the dumps. I know how you feel

    Kate

  • Dana

    Yesterday my right knee cap dislocated for the 6th time while I was bouncing on the trampoline. It hurt very very bad but I managed to put it back in its place.
    I am now 22 and it happened to me for the first time when I was 10.
    Yesterday it happened again after 6 years! I got so depressed that I lost my confidence to run and work out like a normal person.
    Now, after 20 hours since my injury my knee still hurts and I can’t walk properly.I browsed on the http://www.hollandandbarett.com website (in live in England) and saw that there’s BLUE EASE CREAM (£.9.99) with Emu Oil, MSM, Aloe Vera that soothes joints and I will give it a try.I will also wear a knee elasticated support as I don’t feel confident to walk again.
    My advice for the ones who have their knee caps dislocated is that they should immediate move the knee cap back to it’s place otherwise it will experience horrible pains and it will also lead to complications.
    First time when it happened to me I didn’t know what to do and I called my mum and had to wait for 40 minutes with my knee cap popped until she came back from work and put it back in it’s place.then I was taken to hospital and had X-ray done (they came out well) but my knee had swollen so badly that I couldn’t walk for more than a week.All this wouldn’t have happened if my knee cap was put in place in due time.
    Whether you out it back or a doctor is the same thing, so there is no need to wait until you arrive to the hospital.
    Dana

  • Robin

    Dana,

    This is a very serious problem and you need to see an orthapedic surgeon right away, preferably one who specializes in knees.

    Many people suffer knee injuries, but a knee that dislocates repeatedly is something that will not heal itself. Knees that dislocate can be a sign of a cronic hereditary problem that requires surgery. Some of this surgery can only be done on young people, so it is worth finding out if you have a cronic problem.

    If surgery is not a good idea, this problem can sometimes be treated with physical therapy. But the worst thing you can do is nothing, because every time you dislocate your knee you damage cartlidge and possibly ligaments. Cartlidge does not heal itself, which means you can end up with a stiff knee or one that is very unstable if it goes untreated.

    This problem is often heriditary and is worse in women then men. I have suffered with it all my life. At 14 I had major surgery after many injuries. It worked and I thank heaven I went through it though it was very difficult and required a lot of physical therapy. That surgery, which used to be reserved for only the worse cases, is now done on a much wider group of people–but it is only done on very young people.

    I am so sorry to hear about this but PLEASE don’t put this off and don’t take it lightly. Believe me. I know that the pain of dislocation is incredible. Almost no one but someone who has gone through it understands. The fear of injury can become almost as big a problem as the injury itself if this goes on too long.

    So call you doctor tomorrow and see if you can get a referral. Good luck.
    Robin

  • daniel

    i suffer from dislocated knee and i think its the worst pain ever the first time i did it it stayed out of place and a doctor put it back in now i have done it another 6 times it has always gone in by itself but sumtimes i can walk fine in 1 hour and last night i did it and i cannot walk my kneee is swollen and i cannot bend it i hate it i feel your pain to anyone with a dislocated knee x

  • Christopher

    i managed to dislocate my knee 3 weeks ago whilst playing cricket. I was batting away and all of a sudden it popped out whilst i was playing a sweep shot (one which involves resting the knee on the ground). luckily for me it popped back in almost immediately. a few seconds at the most. This injury is really quite painful, i gave it an 8 out of 10 when it happened. i was told by doctors that i “got off lightly” as i am now able to walk normally and even jog. A knee support is an essential in my eyes as it does bear a lot of strain, hopefully if all goes to plan i will be playing my first match again next sunday. exactly a month after the accident. chris, 18

  • Caleb

    I know this a womans page but thought id share my experience. 3rd practice of my senior year of baseball i screwed up my knee. My cliet caught on the corner of the plate and i ended up tearing my acl, partial tear in my pcl, and a mild miniscus edema. I had to get surgery of course. The road to recovery was long but not too bad. The hardest thing I ever had to do was lift my leg. When I was in the doc’s office to get my staples out, they told me i had to lift my leg before i left. Laying flat on my back with my legs extended i just couldnt do it. My mind would tell my leg to lift up but it wouldnt. It was like i couldnt fiure out how the muscles worked. After a wild I pushed as hard as possible acutally straining a bit…and finally got it off the table. its a long rode, and it sucks, just keep hope and you will be ok.

  • Desire

    I recently dislocated my knee as well ; and it hurt really bad and it still does. I fell yesterday once again but it didnt hurt as much, I’m sure everythings fine but ive been walking on it a lot. and it seems to hurt a lot .

    will i suffer from my knee for life?
    cuz thats what i was told that you “could” suffer from this for life, as to it can keep getting out of place a lot. is this true?

  • jamie

    Oh i’m really sorry, maybe we can chat sometime about it because i have the same problem, i see an othopedic surgeon for it and have had 4 surgeries. and it just popped out again the other day so i’ll prolly have a 5th. and i just turned 15 lol so maybe we can talk sometime if you have time. Isn’t the pain horrifying?? Its the worst i’ve ever felt its very abnormal. But email me sometime see ya. (: and it will get better. have faith.

  • Desire

    Hey thanks jamie. im seventeen. and i’d Love to chat with you . if you’d like just email me to jslikeastar@live.com. Hope to hear from you.

    [&) thanks for replaying.* :]

  • JOJO

    Hi, I had my right knee dislocate several times whilst I was a teenager, and I received physiotherapy for it. Now my left knee is the problem. It happened once last year and the hospital just sent me home with an asprin, and it happened again (while I was in spain on Holiday) and I am currently in plaster for 5 weeks! I am hoping no operation, but surely this would make the knee stronger? I am on crutches and I have this ongoing fear that all the weight I am putting on my right knee will make it dislocate again. It runs in my family, my Mother has a weak knee and so do both of my brothers :( Is there a solution that doesnt require amputation?

  • http://www.facebook.com Gemma

    Hi there,
    I dislocated my left knee two nights ago, while dancing in my sister’s room. I don’t quite know how it happened but I think I jumped up, rolled my ankle and hit my knee cap on the chair in the room all at the same time! I just looked down and freaked out, and crumpled to the ground. Like Heather I had to get the ambulance and was given the gas (laughing gas) to calm me down, because the pain was like nothing I have ever felt before in my life. I was carried out of the house by my boyfriend and the paramedic & given morphine in the ambulance. That helped a lot when the dr massaged my knee back into place at the hospital, but the pain during the night when I came home was so bad, I just couldn’t get comfortable, and I felt so useless and helpless. The pain has eased somewhat now, and my feelings have changed to that of annoyance that it happened to me (I too was exercising and eating healthily in an effort to lose weight) and I’m worried about how hard simple things like going to the bathroom and showering are. I guess it can only get better from here, as long as it doesn’t pop out again! Does anyone have any advice on what to do, ways to make it easier to do several things, I get such a sore leg when I have to stand for an extended period of time and was wondering what people did to get around by themselves?
    Thank you so much, and I fully understand everyone’s pain who has dislocated their knees before, it is truly intense!!
    Have a great day, Gemma.

  • Robin

    Gemma,

    Wow it is so amazing to have people talk about this. I have been dealing with this for most of my life and one problem with it is that very few people understand how horrible it is.

    The best advice I can give you is to get your doctor, who should be an orthapedic surgeon, to refer you to physical therapy, preferably someone who specializes in knees. They can work with you and provide exercises. The point of this is to build up the muscles around your knee. Most of the exercises I did were leg lifts with weights strapped to my ankles. They helped a lot.

    If you are under 24, go to an orthapedic surgeon and have him or her evaluate the damage and if you need surgery. Cartledge will not heal itself. If you are over 24, the major knee surgery is no longer done. But the therapy helps a lot.

    Good luck.
    Robin

  • http://www.facebook.com Gemma

    Hi Robin,
    Thanks for your helpful information! It’s really good to know that I am not the only one going through this pain and awkwardness. I knew other people had had this happen to them but it’s really nice to get support from other people.
    I am planning to ring my doctor tomorrow to book an appointment, and discuss physio and where I should go from there, I’m only 21 and I’m hoping that I won’t have this happen (ever) again, so I will do everything the experts tell me to do! Lol.
    How many times have you dislocated your knee(s)? Indeed, in telling people I have dislocated my knee it is only the people who have some experience who truly understand, everyone else thinks I can just get up and get going again (as much as I want to, both you and I know its not possible).
    So, thanks so much for your help and I hope you have a great day, I’ll keep you posted on how I go : ) Gemma.

  • Amie

    HI this is Amie from last year. the emails I have been getting from this have been great .
    I am doing good. My knee is still weak but I am out of P T and at the GYM. I think it will take about 3 more mouths to feel like this never happened. It took me 3 1/2 mouths to lift my leg and that was about a 1in. so good luck to all of you it will get better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Robin

    HI Gemma,

    My experience with knee dislocation is um… pretty extensive. LOL. I hope I do not bore you with all of this–but I promise it is for a reason. Not everyone has my problem, which is “trick knees”–knees that dislocate chronically–but everyone who has dislocated a knee should check it out to prevent a serious problem.

    If you are what they used to call “double jointed” or loose jointed, or and/or if you have a body type where the bones in your hips are wide and you have a small waist–you could be at risk.

    In the summer of 1967, when I was about 13 I fell out of a tree in the front yard and dislocated my knee. The knee popped right back, but as you know, it is excruciating. I told my parents and they were not concerned. My mother’s dad, my grandfather had had what they called a “trick knee.” This is a situation where a knee dislocates repeatedly. My parents did not take this seriously. Grandpa had had this all his life. It had gone out on him maybe 4 times.

    Well after that I started falling. Both knees were going. I must have dislocated my knees 7 or eight times over the course of a few months. It was torture. I was only a kid and I suddenly could not run. Everyone told me to “ignore it,” but it got worse and worse. One knee, my right had become loose. I became terrified of falling.

    Finally my parents took me to the doctor who immediately sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon took one look at my right knee and told my parents I needed to go for surgery immediately, or the cartilage would be so damaged that I would have a stiff leg for the rest of my life.

    The doctor explained that I have a chronic condition with my knees. This is not a terribly rare problem and it is much more common in girls than in boys. In some women the hip bones grow wide during puberty and the girl’s legs are set at an angle. This puts a lot of stress on the knees, because the pressure is not even. The tendons which hold the knee cap on are may not hold because the knees do not point forward exactly. They look fine to the casual observer–but if you really examine knees like this–they are a little bit at an angle. If you are a bit knock-kneed, you know what I mean. Falling and dislocating a knee stretches the tendon that holds the kneecap. When this happens the kneecap becomes loose . The tendon will not tighten up on its own. Every fall makes the situation worse. The tendon stretches more and the cartilage is damaged.

    In 1967, the surgery for this, which is common now–was only done when the problem was severe. This is because it was major surgery. It is also because girls were not supposed to be very athletic–so it was supposed to be no big deal if a girl could not run or jump.

    This surgery, which I had on my left knee is to cut the tendon, stretch it over the kneecap, and reattach the tendon (under the knee) to the leg with a stainless steel screw! Recovery meant 10 days in the hospital with a leg cast from hip to ankle. There was another 6 weeks in the cast (on crutches) and another couple of months of physical therapy after that.

    I was fortunate to have the surgery though. My right knee never dislocated again.

    My left knee (the one that was not operated on) has dislocated but it is very rare. It dislocated maybe 4 times in my teens and another 4 times when I was in my 20s. Then when I was in my late 40s it happened again. That fall was really terrible and did a lot of damage. I used a cane for about three months. I am fine now, but I am always nervous around ice.

    Nowadays the medical advice on knee surgery for girls with “trick” knees is very different. Most girls are operated on right away, before there is damage. But they do not do the surgery on girls over 24, which is why you need to be careful and get it if you need it.

    Of course they do do other types of knee surgery and only a doctor and tell you what your exact problem is.

    I hope I have not bored you with all of this. Truth is that I have lived a very good, very happy life. It certainly has not dominated my life in any way. But the fear of falling has made me a little crazy at times and I always felt that no one understood how scary it is to be afraid that your knee may dislocate when doing something like running across the street.

    Thanks for listening and good luck.
    Robin

  • http://www.facebook.com Gemma

    Hi Robin,
    WOW, what a story, and definitely not boring at all, I can’t believe how many times you have dislocated your knees, the pain must have been especially intense when you were younger and had it happen repeatedly!
    I hope I don’t have problems with my knee dislocating again, and am currently on the phone booking my Doctor’s appointment, on advice from the lady at the doctors I was going to go straight to physio but after reading your story and talking to the physio I have decided its best to see the doctor first so they can diagnose whether or not I have a chronic problem or if I was lucky enough to have this as a one off. I guess I’m sort of feeling like I want to get back to walking and wanted to hurry up the process a bit, however, I don’t want to do too much too soon and then get set back three or four days, I’m feeling pretty lonely right now and I thank you for sharing your story with me, I now know that not only am I not alone, but that other people have much more severe and painful injuries than mine and I should be thankful for that! Lol.
    I am really worried about simple things now and even taking my brace off for thirty seconds makes me think and worry that I will dislocate it again, I know that probably sounds silly but I just can’t help it, haha. Hopefully that paranoia will ease with each day I get more comfortable and ready to walk again!! (And do everything for myself again, instead of relying on other people!!).
    Thank you for listening and for sharing your story,
    Gemma : )

  • Robin

    Gemma,

    Ack! Isn’t it a pain? When I had that cane I thought I was going crazy. I was bored at home and going out, even just taking the bus to the library scared me. It will get better though. Worrying about falling is like post traumatic stress–it just jumps into your mind. But if you get this taken care of, you can forget it.

    I am so glad you are going to see a doctor. If you go to an orthapedic surgeon it is especially good to go to one who specializes in knees. By the way, the problem I have is heriditary. Have you ever heard of anyone in the family having a knee dislocate?

    Though having this problem is not uncommon, you will probably will not have this problem to the extent that I do. When I hurt my knee the last time, my doctor, at George Washington University Hospital, sent me to the doctor who prescribes the knee physical therapy for the Washington Wizards. It was actually pretty funny. The doctor walked into the room with a bunch of residents, who listened intently to my story. The scar on my leg is dreadful (even 39 years later.) I just happen to scar badly. They stood there with their mouths open and the doctor kept saying “this is a very interesting case.” I could not help but crack up. You want to be interesting but NOBODY wants to be an interesting case. It felt like I was describing life before radio!

    Even if you do have the heritary trick knee problem, you will be able to prevent further injury. There is so much you can do now to prevent future problems. I am glad you are taking it easy and not pushing it. Believe me, if you get physical therapy you will be having plenty of exercise and you will feel much more stable.

    One good thing is that, as you age the cartilage becomes more solid and it is less likely to go out. That was one reason they used to not do the surgery. But this is also why you need to know about the problem now. Many people, including my first doctor, told me that I would not have the problem when I got in to my 20s because the cartilage. When I got into my 20s and fell a few times, I was so sorry that I had not had the other knee fixed.

    Thanks for sharing Gemma. Let us know what the outcome of this is. I hope its a single event, which very well may be.
    Robin

  • Vickie

    OUch.. I totally understand how you feel because last weekend I just dislocated my knee too.. it wasn’t as bad as yours but it just happened as I was walking on the street, I wasn’t really running, just fast paced and out off no where I felt weak both knees and I just fell in the city center on the street and i saw the bone went in and it just start swollen up.. my friends were near me and they were scared to look at it, but at the end went to the doctors and she said my knee went back to itself but i just really couldn’t walk.. went to emergency but there were so many ppl and it was Saturday, they told me to go back on sunday morning.. all they did was put a cast on it and i have to wear it for a few weeks and next week I am going to see the speciailist about it.. sigh its better now but still bruised… and a little swollen!
    I just thought to share some of this with anyone too because I actually fractured my knee cap like back 7 yrs ago and this is the 2nd time the same knee happened.. just a little frightend but after reading a few stories, i guess mine wasn’t the worse….

  • tyler

    i have dislooctated four times in four years three times on left knee once on right knee it vey painful

  • Pawl

    Ow. I know what you went through. It happened to me 4 times already, 2 times one each knee. The first time was the worst by far. I’ve been training my legs, and now if it tries to pop out it goes right back. It still hurts though : (

  • Naarah

    Hi all,

    I just thought I’d share my story about what happened to my knee. (Sorry if this bores anyone!)

    About 3 weeks ago, I dislocated my left knee cap for the 2nd time. It was at my cheerleading competition. The school before us had just finished so my team was warming up. I was practicing all the jumps we did in our routine just to make sure I was ready.

    The last jump I did was a right hurdler. This is when you jump so that your right leg is extended to the side, and your left leg is bent and tucked under you, kinda like you’re jumping over hurdles (lol.)

    When I landed the jump, my left knee cap popped right out and I immediately grabbed under my thigh and my coach helped my sit down. I was REALLY pissed at first because my team had been in 3rd place and this round was going to determine who went to districts. But then the pain kicked in and it hurt like hell! And of course it seemed like the ambulance took 42 years to come.

    After I got to the hospital, my coach told me my mom was on her way. The doctor came in and took a look at my knee and put his hand on it, and started talking to me about how my day had been, so he could distract me. But after a couple of minutes he popped it back in.

    So it’s been about 3 weeks now and I’m still in a brace and on crutches, but things will get better. Fall season for cheerleading is over and I’m really bummed because it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to cheer winter season. And sometimes I get really discouraged because I can’t go to all the places I used to go (like the mall–too slow walking!) I still haven’t been in to see an orthopedic because I can NEVER get an appointment at that office. I’m just hoping i don’t need surgery because I’d be completely devastated!

    Anyways, sorry if this bored anyone, but if you have any advice I’d really appreciate hearing it :)

    Thanks!!

  • Gemma

    Hi All, Hi Robin (again!) and Hi Naarah,
    Just thought I would give you an update on my knee situation, it’s been nearly 10 weeks now and I’m walking again – albeit slowly and with a limp still because of the stiffness. I am still going to physio one to two times a week and that is PAINFUL to say the least, the bending back exercises we do hurt a lot and I’m wondering whether I will ever have full and fluid use of my knee the way I used to? Any information on how long it will take to get back to 100% would be greatly appreciated, I’m thinking another month at least. I still walk up and down stairs one at a time – which takes ages – and I was also wondering how long it took you to start walking up and down the stairs as a normal person would – I think I am more afraid to try in case something goes wrong….. but I guess I’ll have to. It’s been a LONG ten weeks, I missed all of the last half of semester at University and have just finished my exams, so I am hoping that everything goes well there, considering!
    I’m sorry to hear about your knee Naarah, I know exactly how you feel – what I found most annoying was the not being able to do anything, and like you – going to the mall, or going to the movies or just hanging out with friends was what I really liked to do and my knee injury really put a dampener on all those things, but only temporarily! I have been to the mall, I went even when I was on crutches (people looked but nevermind them, I tell people what happened sometimes if they look too long) which was ok, but I couldn’t last very long and wasn’t too interested in looking at things I couldn’t try on, haha. But it gets better – as I’m sure you know, having done it once before, just make sure you get to physio and start doing exercises, and you should be on your way!

    Anyway, thanks for listening, hope your knee feels better soon.

    Ttys, Gemma. : )

  • Peggy Rowland

    Naarah, Sorry to hear about your difficulties! I don’t have any advice other than getting the opinions of two doctors and plenty of rest. Make that appointment : )

    Gemma, thanks for visiting. I’ve had a few different types of surgeries, but no knee surgery. Maybe someone else will be able to tell you how long it took them to get back to 100%. Everyone’s different though. For me, the doctor’s span of time given was usually right on, within a week or so.

  • Naarah

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I just thought I’d give an update. Yesterday I saw an orthopedist and they took some x-rays of my knee. After that, he said I don’t need surgery and that my knee was ok enough to take off my immobilizer and lose the crutches :) However, he gave me a soft brace to wear on my knee under my clothes that allows me to bend it. It has this kind of circle “cut out” that fits around my knee cap.

    He also told me i have something called “malalignment” in my knees, which may be the reason my knee dislocated again. Its the displacement of certain bones and ligaments, that can cause dislocations in the joints..which of course has made me extremely worried that my other knee might pop out!

    Anyways..I’m starting physical therapy next week and I’m really nervous. My knee is really stiff and tight whenever i bend it past a certain point. And going up stairs is really difficult, but I’m sure it’ll get easier with time. I was told that I could take the brace off when I sleep..but I guess I’m a little paranoid that something might happen…. idk what though, lol. Does anyone know how long it took them to stop being paranoid?

    I’m really sorry to hear about all you’ve been through with your knee, Gemma. I definitely know what you mean–about worrying about if something went wrong. Today in class I was sitting down, and my knee did a weird pop (kinda like when you crack your knuckles) and I got sooo freaked out. I’m don’t remember being this paranoid the first time I dislocated my knee, so I’m really hoping the paranoia goes away as my knee gets better.

    Anyways, feel better. And thanks for listening :)

  • Mia

    Hi All,

    A month ago I slipped and fell and dislocated my left knee, fractured my fibila and twisted my ankle. I spent eleven long days in the hospital and have been stuck in this metal brace since. I started physical therapy last week and I am so afraid, my knee hurts like heck when I try to bend it. I am scared, upset, depressed and angry and have looked at the positive to know that I am improving each day but the next day seems to be just as harder.

    I am looking for some good advice from someone who has been there done that and have a tee-shirt :)

  • Rosie

    Hi

    I am so glad I have came across eveyone’s posts here about dislocated knees. Its very reassuring as I too have recently dislocated my knee, five weeks it has been and its the fourth time its happened. This time I took a nasty fall down stairs, dislocating the knee in the process. I tried to relocate it myself but it wouldnt budge and I couldnt move to get help so had no option but to lie on the ground until a neighbour found me about 40 mins later and phoned an ambulance! I too got gas and air and it took the ambulance crew a while before they managed to get it back into place so I could move downstairs with them to the ambulance. Its true the longer the kneecap is out of place, the lengthier the time for healing what with all the ligaments being stretched or torn. I had to wear a brace for first 3 weeks and use elbow crutches (not the easiest to get to grips with) then started physio with exercises to do at home every 2 hours every day with weekly appointments at physiotherapy, now I am wearing a tubigrip for extra support as my knee is still very unstable and I find is giving way when I am walking. Physio says I am going to be visiting her for quite some time. I had an x-ray which showed no breaks, but I have never been offered an MRI scan to assess ligament damage. It is also still very swollen and sore, all of this I cant remember being as bad when I done it before first few times. I also still need to use one of my crutches for walking outdoors, not that I can go too far as my muscles have wasted so much when they were immobilised in the splint, so the physio is helping to strengthen them again, just very slowly. My orthopaedic consultant said I could have an operation, but to try physio route first then if I am not happy then either go to my GP and be referred to his waiting list for an appt or for my physiotherapist to refer me. Dont want this operation unless I really have to so waiting to see how I go. I have been feeling like I am turning into a nervous wreck when out of the safety of my house, I am terrified of slipping or the possibility of anyone knocking into me causing me to fall as I reckon that would be all it takes for my knee to dislocate again. Doesnt help that the weather here has been icy lately, so I have been getting obsessed with weather reports, I dread the snow!! I dont think my family and friends expected me to get as down in the dumps as I have been over the last few weeks as I have either, its all the things you take for granted that you suddenly realise you need help to do, plus I feel everyone around me expected me to be fine in about a week or two like in the case of a simple sprain! I am in a panic about xmas shopping (impossible still as I cant carry anything heavy such as the shopping bags) and am missing out on a lot of parties just now too which is getting me down as the thought of being around tipsy drunken party goers frightens the life out me all in case they bump into me. At least I got work (never thought I would say that!) to keep me occupied during the day, they have been great in letting me go back after five weeks off and do part time hours to get back into the swing of things, its the travelling into work thats the worst as I have to walk a bit to get a bus, so they have been understanding with that.

    Anyway I wish everyone good luck with their knee injuries, its great to read everyones experiences and know you are not alone in feeling how you do. Thanks x

  • http://www.livelywomen.com Peggy Rowland

    Hello Rosie. Welcome to Lively Women. I hope you hang around and check out the rest of the site too.

    This IS a great thread on knee injuries. Thanks to everyone who keeps sharing their experiences!

  • Gemma

    Hi Rosie, and Hi Mia – as someone who is (hopefully) at the end stage of their recovery from a knee dislocation, I can definitely sympathise and understand everything you are going thru and everything you have been thru, as you’ll see in some of my posts from above.
    It’s now been over three months since I dislocated my knee and I still am not able to do things that I would like to do, such as go for a long walk with my partner, shop till I drop without getting sore feet or sore hips from walking awkwardly or standing unusually, BUT it is a heck of a lot better than it was three months ago, or two months ago even, and I am surprised that I have even gotten over all those initial frightening feelings of panic, paranoia and the like, in terms of worrying if someone touches my knee, knocks my knee or pushes me over, or if I fall down the stairs – my advice (and I do have the been there tee shirt haha) is to take it as it comes, DON’T let anyone push you, anyone – in my opinion – who hasn’t experienced this type of injury isn’t qualified to tell you that you should be improving faster or slower (unless they are a physio, or OT or some professional) because that doesn’t help you, it only hinders your improvement because you’re constantly worried about how you should be going and what people are expecting of you. For instance, it has only been in this past week that I have learnt to go up stairs again, in the past few months I have been going up painfully slowly, one by one with both feet on each step and now I can proudly say that I can, slowly, go up stairs rather normally … I had people telling me that I should have been doing that a long time ago, but no one but me actually knew when and if I was capable, it was up to me to decide and I think that is most important. You have to decide when you are ready to take new steps and challenges and let go of your worries and fears about it happening again, because I’ve decided that if I live my life trying to make sure that this doesn’t happen EVER again, I’ll live some type of half-life, constantly on edge and constantly paranoid and even then, I can’t be guaranteed of a dislocation-free life!
    So, take each day as it comes and well done on getting better, and especially Rosie on catching the bus to work and everything!
    I hope everyone is well and that your injuries are improving at a positive rate : )
    Cheers, Gemma

  • Neachy

    I’m so glad I found this website!!!

    Rosie, my story is so similar to yours! I freaked out when I read it.

    My story…I was heading out of town for the weekend. It was about 5:30am and I was loading the car. I threw my coat on the passenger seat and my purse on the driver seat. Then I had the bright idea to put a couple of items from my backseat in the trunk since my little sisters were going to ride with me later. As I was crawling backwards out of the backseat I think my knee got caught between the seatbelt and seat. The seatbelt forced the right kneecap out and as I jumped up with shock I bumped it further out of place on the door frame of the car. I fell back on the ground. I couldn’t move. Cell phone was in my purse which was in the car. I screamed for help but of course it is 5:30 am and I was in the middle of my apt parking lot. A neighbor found me in about 20 minutes (he was taking a morning cigarette break). He called the paramedics. The paramedics couldn’t pop it back plus they couldn’t lift me without assistance. At this point I have been on the ground for at least 45 minutes…did I mention it was 20 degrees. Once in the ambulance they tried to get a vein so they could give me morphine. My body was so cold they couldn’t find a vein so they gave me “laughing gas”. When I got to the ER they did everything to warm me up so they could give me the morphine…after more than a hour with my kneecap out of place the doctor finally popped it back. I was so relieved!!! Some of the events are still hazy but I remember the nurses screaming I was so cold and kept asking me questions because they were afraid I might faint from the pain. Also one told me when I have kids it will be easy compared to this pain. I didn’t even care about the morphine I just wanted my knee popped back in place. Before the doc popped it I asked if there were any children nearby…he said “Why?” I told him I was going to curse like a sailor and didn’t want any children around…which I did drop a few bad words.

    This was the 5th time my knee has done this but only the 2nd time in my life that it required a knee immobilizer and crutches. I’m on week 6 now…still in the immobilizer and only use the crutches for support on the ice and snow. I’m in PT but during the holidays and bad wintry weather I’ve only been once. I just do the exercises every day twice a day. My knee still feels tight when I bend it and I can only get it to about a 60 degree angle.

    Good luck everyone!

  • Kevin

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m not a woman, so please excuse me for being on a women’s website, but I feel like I might be able to offer some insight into an area of which I’ve become very familiar with unfortunately, multiple dislocations on both knees. It started, like many of you, in my teen years. I had my first dislocation at 14. Since then, I’ve had about 5 dislocations on EACH KNEE. That’s about 10 total dislocations. Each one was pretty painful as some of you already know.

    After my last dislocation of my left knee sometime in 2000, it didn’t get better after physical therapy like all the other times as I was walking around constantly with a limp. Luckily, I found a great orthopedic surgeon and that specialized in arthroscopic knee surgery. He performed what they call a patella realignment which basically consisted of a lateral release (cutting away tissue from the outside) and a medial reefing (shortening of the tissue from the inside) so that my kneecap would be back in the center of the groove. It was a relatively new arthroscopic procedure; before 2000, they had to do it the old-fashioned way, i.e., cutting the entire knee open.

    The first couple of nights after surgery was basically hell. It hurt so much that I wanted to cut that leg off. After 6 months of hard physical therapy, I was back on my feet. I’ve had a few minor knee problems since then, but it hasn’t dislocated since. *KNOCK ON WOOD*

    On my right knee, I was playing tennis when it suddenly, without dislocating, just didn’t feel right. It had been all the prior dislocations that caught up with me. I had an arthrosopic lateral release done in 2004 and it’s felt better since then after another stint with physical therapy. So after 10 dislocations and about $10,000 in medical bills, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do most of what I want to do these days.

    If there’s any advice I can give anyone that’s suffered a dislocated patella, it’d be TAKE YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPY SERIOUSLY, which includes working out on your own. Today, and everyday for the rest of my life, I have to work hard to protect both my knees, which includes riding the the stationary bike, isometric exercises, resistance work, etc. I hit the gym 3 times a week and work out at home the days I don’t. If you want to lead a somewhat normal life and be active, you have to work to maintain your knees. Treat it like everything else you have to do everyday, like eating and sleeping. Make working out a routine.

    If there’s anyone that needs any advice or anything, feel free to email me at scu_law@yahoo.com. I hope my experience has been helpful to someone.

  • Robin

    Another thing is this. If you are between the ages of 14 and 22, and your knees have dislocated repeatedly, get to an orthapedic surgeon who specializes in knees to determine if you have a chronic problem and need to have your knee(s) realigned. The problem is hereditary, so ask your family if anyone in the family has had it. I had my right knee done when I was 14, and my only regret is that the left knee was not done as well. If you have a chronic problem caused by the structure of your bones, nothing else will really work and you will always be at risk for problems. A brace will not help a knee that goes out because the leg is out of line. Some doctors prescribe them, but in my case, because the bones were off kilter, it was a complete waste of time.

    Realignment is major surgery but if you are young it is very, very effective in preventing future problems and you will save yourself a lifetime of pain, fear and physical therapy.
    Robin.

  • http://www.livelywomen.com Peggy Rowland

    Hi Kevin.

    Men may comment here too. No worries! :)

  • Erin

    I dislocated my knee back on March 9. It was a freak accident, all I was doing was finishing my lunch break at work, and was walking to the elevator when all of a sudden, my left leg slipped, slid in front of me, and I fell on top of it into the elevator. I tried to get up, but found I could not, and reached down to touch my leg, and my knee was at a 45 degree angle, twisted inward, toward my other leg. Of course, I was very scared and in a great deal of pain. There was an eye witness who called an ambulance, while I called both my father and my fiance to let them know what had happened. I was taken to the hospital, but given no pain medicine because of the possibility of allergies. I waited on a stretcher for approximately an hour in the ER before anyone came to take x-rays. I had no pain medicine for the x-rays, I’ll never forget the amount of pain I was in during that. I was actually told, when I asked for pain medicine, that they couldn’t wait to do that because there were other patients. Finally, when they tried lifting my unreduced leg to x-ray it, and I screamed, did they consent with the pain medicine. Later, I was anesthetized, and my leg was reduced. Every ligament and tendon was torn, and my peroneal nerve had snapped. Fortunately, I had no problem with blood flow. It was determined that surgery was necessary, however, I developed a UTI and bronchitis, so surgery took place nearly a week after the injury, while I was in the hospital this whole time. Surgery took place the following Saturday, and lasted for around 5-6 hours, and included allografts. I was on Lortab and Dilotted all day on Sunday, and by Tuesday, the hospital had released me. It is now April 8, nearly a month since the accident, I’ve got six large scars on my knee, and am in physical therapy. Because of the peroneal nerve, I cannot move my foot up or to the outside, but do have feeling in it. The doctor has been talking about a possible nerve graft, but from what I’ve read, there is poor prognosis for that. I have been trying to bend the knee more and more often, am using a CPM machine, and try to flex it while at PT, although I find that particularly painful. I find myself frustrated often at the inabilities I have encountered.

  • Rosie

    I dislocated my right knee cap yesterday. I don’t even know how it happened I was just standing and the knee cap popped to the side. The pain was excrutiating and it was worse if I moved it so when my mum and dad(I’m only 14) tried to move me to take me to hospital I couldn’t because of the pain so they called an ambulance and when the people got to my house they gave me laughing gas to relax my muscles and help the pain. That helped and so they moved me on to a stretcher and took me to hospital. I then had to wait for the nurse to see me and then ages until the doctor saw me and when he finally did he didn’t even know which exact bone had dislocated so he wanted to x-ray it before he could put it back. The x-ray was horrible, absolute agony when they had to move the knee to get a picture of it. Then later after waiting for the x-ray results and the doctor again he finally came and said he was getting a bone doctor to come and see if he could put my patella back,(This whole time my knee was still dislocated.) Then he said he could either just try and put my knee back or he could aneithitise me. I was already on a lot of pain killers, morphine and gas but it didn’t seem to be helping th pain and he said that if e aneithitised me I’d be in the hospital over night but I wouldn’t feel it when he put it back or I could just let him do it without the drugs and it would be excrutiating but then I could go home. So because I’d already been through so much and really wanted to go home I gritted my teeth and let him put it back without the medicine. Apparantly you could hear my screams all the way down the corridor. And because my knee had been dislocated for about 6 hours altogether it meant that putting it back was that much more painful. I’m so scared its going to happen again..

  • Angus

    I can empathise with all – It’s happened to me too! Sucks doesn’t it!

    My purpose today is to pass on some advice which my doctor and my specialist both said helped somewhat:

    If your knee dislocates (to the side – not behind the knee!), put it back in straight away as swelling is quick and can cause more damage and makes it far more painful to put in. When mine happened I was in the middle of nowhere and had no phone reception and no choice but to bang it back in….. yeeouch!

    All the best,
    Angus

  • John Stern

    i dislocated my knee not to long ago (actually i dislocated my knee 12 times). i had patella realignment surgery to fix it. the recovery was a long process but it was worth it. i am bad to doing all my normal activities. after the surgery it took about 4 months to recover but time went fast . i did have to spends 6 weeks on cruches and that was probably the worst part. i am realy glad i did it.

  • KEVO

    I dislocated my left knee on December 17, 2008 ( yes i still remember from the horrible pain that still haunts me ) during a basketball practice. I’ll admit that I alwayz played straight up and never bent my knees to get in an athletic position so when i caught a pass, I pivoted on my left foot really hard ( I used to try too hard at basketball, but now I’m better )and I felt my knee go out of place. It totally knocked the breath outta me for a good minute. Afterwards it started to swell really bad and my leg was placed in an immobolizer brace for 3 weeks. It sucked cuz I couldn’t play ball for a while, but my injury wasn’t too critical. I returned to my sport 4 months later and am doing better than ever. Word of advice, be SUPER careful when playing sports like Volleyball, Football & especially basketball because injuries are a possibility for ANYONE. Strengthen your legs and core muscles and get your body in good condition to take on the intensity basketball brings. And also make sure that ur legs are bent when pivoting. You will take alot of pressure off ur ligaments and tissues in ur knee. Other than that, take precautions before playing sports

  • Ranae Sharp

    My 16 year old daughter has had both of her knees dislocate since 2009. Just last sunday it happened again but it went back in before we got to the hospital. She was in sports at school and her ligaments wore down to where she dosen’t have anything keeping her knee in place. She will see an orthopedic next week but for now she’s in an imobilizer on one knee and her brace on the other knee. Poor thing Jennifer can just sit down and that knee cap goes to the left side, it has happened 3 times now and when it happens she just screams and cries so bad that her hands will cramp up and her face gets real red. I hope you get better and my daughter to. Good luck to you and anyone else who has had this horrible experience.

  • anu

    Hi All,

    My story is also very similar. Even i dislocated my left knee about an year ago n this happened a few months before my marriage. I was over enthusiastic and joined yoga n gym classes in office in those times. After some months, one day i was doing extra yoga exercises in gym n without instructor, that’s wen i suddenly realised i cudn’t stand anymore. I fell down on the gym and asked an onlooker to call the gym instructor. he came and rubbed my knee n put some spray but it didn’t help. It was very painful but still i managed to somehow get up, change my gym clothes n walk up to the bus stop to catch my office bus home. It was extremely painful but there didnt seem any option and i thought this would get better soon.
    I reached home late at night and the knee got swollen over night. Then, next morning i went to the hospital again in pain where the doctor checked it , took X- ray n then told me that it was a knee dislocation and put me in fracture and bed rest for 2 months.
    It took long to heal completely n as i had to get back to work, i didn’t completely do the physiotherapy sessions afterwards.
    Now, i feel the pain sometimes upon climbing staircases and wearing high heels.
    But i also want to get back to my exercise routine again as i have gained weight which i want to lose. i m not sure if i can resume exercise or not again as before as all this while, i had a baby in between too. But i really want to get back in shape :)

    Thanks for reading my story and all suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks.

  • Liz

    Hey Everyone,

    Thank you for your stories, they have been super helpful. I dislocated my knee a few days ago while I was out shopping. BAsically my knee locked back and i fell over it, dislocating the patela… my knee was popped back into place as they were putting me on the xray machine, which was painful, but then really relieving!

    Since then I have been on bed rest and have taken off the brace, as my brace was made out of heavy cast material and I felt as though it was not helping with the healing process at all. Rather It felt as though I was lugging around a poorly constructed cast. I must say that I feel much better. Trying to knee straight at the moment, until I see the doc on Monday for therapy.

    I have to say, I feel the best when I am up and walking with my crutches, putting very minimal weight on my knee. I have muscular pain, but that seems about it.

    My biggest fear is that I am a chef, and I stand up to 8 hours in the kitchen… any thoughts how long I might be out of work?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this!

  • breanna norwood

    weell i was getting out of a waterslide about three weeks ago and fell stright down on my right knee and suddenly i could not move it luckily there was a firefighter rhere who knew what to do he tried putting it back in place but couldnt so him and another guy helped me to a chair and then asked if i wanted to go home which my house is just down the street from them but one of the guys has a golf cart so he drove me home in it and then explained to my parents what had happened i then limped into the house soaking wewt trying to chang clothes then my mom put ice on it and gave me an ibporfen i then woke up and that night i was supposed to wathc the fireghters kids and i did any then that following week i went to dr.segar in corpus christi texas to only find out that i had dislocated my kneecap he put me in a soft cast wth krutches but now two weeks later it looks like my kneecap has shifted up further where its not supposed to be any suggestions on what i should do im 13 and it really hurts

  • Rosie

    Hi
    I posted before in December 08 and now five months on since I dislocated my knee I find that I am still having to attend physiotherapy twice weekly to a knee clinic and doing my many exercises at home, I can walk more or less normally now with occasional limp if I have been sitting for long periods. My knee has regained strength in surrounding muscles where they were atrophied at beginning after wearing the splint, but not as strong as I had hoped for by now as I still have the feeling of weakness and possibility of giving way – my p/t says it will improve as long as I focus on muscle strength which is what I have been doing, just thought five months on that it would have been feeling more back to normal than it is. I still have problems with going down steep hills and although I manage stairs fairly well I do need to have a handrail on going downwards just to steady myself as my knee has a habit of lunging slightly which is scary seeing as I done it in the first place falling down the stairs. I also find I cant dance yet either, so thats the social side of things still on a backburner! I am hoping this improves greatly in another month as I would hate to think this is the best its going to be. I do find more seems to be done for people that are sporty or in active jobs, I may be no professional athlete but I do like to be reasonably active and I like to run, dance, jump if I want to. Guess time will tell. Would like to know how everyone else has been getting on now and if they feel back to normal.

    Rosie