I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. The knee is an important structure that provides both range of motion and stability to the leg. A dislocation in the knee can range in severity and could cause life-long complications
What is a Knee Dislocation?
The knee functions properly due to a perfect alignment among the femur, tibia, and fibula. Any shift in the alignment of these bones causes the joint to malfunction and is termed a knee dislocation. A severe dislocation could even cause a bone fracture.
The Injury Mechanism
Knee dislocations are a relatively common type of traumatic injury and could be caused by numerous events, ranging from sports to an auto accident. For example, if someone’s knee collides with the steering wheel or dashboard, the knee could dislocate. Patients can also suffer a knee dislocation in a bicycle accident if they fall awkwardly. Finally, knee dislocations are often accompanied by a femur fracture.
Treatment of a Knee Dislocation
The primary concern with a knee dislocation is to reduce the knee. First, images will be taken to ensure that the structures around the knee have not been damaged. If they are out of place, they could be damaged further with a closed reduction. After this, the knee will be put back into place. After a dislocation has occurred once, it is easier to dislocate the joint a subsequent time. Often, patients are placed in a brace to prevent this from happening in the immediate future.
The Potential for Complications
The most common of the comorbidities that develops with a knee dislocation is a future dislocation. The joint is held in place by tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. These are often damaged in a dislocation, which makes it easier to dislocate them again.
Other Structures are Vulnerable
There are many different ligaments in the knee that could be severed in a knee dislocation. Examples include the ACL and MCL, often torn in sports, and the PCL, often torn in car accidents. It is vital that these ligaments are examined closely with every knee dislocation to ensure that they haven’t been missed.
Other diagnoses must be considered with a knee dislocation. Examples include:
- Femoral Condyle Fracture
- ACL, MCL, PCL, or LCL tear
- Femoral shaft fracture
- Tear of the medial or lateral meniscus
- Supracondylar Femur Fracture
If this is the patient’s first knee dislocation and there aren’t any associated ligament tears, the prognosis is generally very good. Patients who have dislocated their knee multiple times are at risk for serious complications.
Surgery is Possible
As mentioned above, there is a chance that ligaments could be torn. This would be diagnosed with a MRI and would require surgery to repair.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I am honored to have been welcomed as part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for the state of California. This group of esteemed legal advocates represent some of the top-ranked trial lawyers in the United States. The lawyers of our forum have both settled cases and reached verdicts valued at more than $1 Million dollars.
Please pause to look over my earlier verdicts and settlements here.
Image Attribution: re-printed under the 4.0 version of the CC BY SA document, from Wikimedia Commons.
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