When most people think of knee injuries they think of torn ACLs or other ligament damage that athletes get. With knee injuries making the rounds in the news now we think it’s important to touch on a lesser known knee injury, what’s known as having an unstable kneecap. Like most parts of the body we don’t realize how important they are to our everyday lives until we are hurt.
To fully understand an injury to the kneecap, you have to know exactly what the kneecap does. The kneecap connects the muscles in the front of your thigh to the shinbone. When you bend or straighten your leg, your kneecap is pulled up or down by the tendons in your knee. Your femur has a notch in it to accommodate the movement of the kneecap. When your knee is healthy the kneecap with fit perfectly into this groove, but if it becomes too shallow or uneven for any reason, then your kneecap can slide off resulting in injury and dislocation.
Some of the most common symptoms of a kneecap injury are:
- Buckling knees that cannot support your body weight
- Pain in the front of your knee (can increase during activity)
- Pain in your knee when leg is bent
- Stiffness or cracking of the knee
- Swollen knee
Getting the kneecap back into place is called reduction. Sometimes this will happen on its own when the kneecap just pops back into place, or sometimes it will require surgery. If you are living with knee pain set up a consultation today with Dr. Patrick Hurlbut or Dr. Matthew Byington. Both Dr. Hurlbut and Dr. Byington are Board Certified in Orthopedics and specialize in the non-operative and operative treatments of sports-related injuries.