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Knee Dislocation

This injury should not be cared for at home.  It is best to get medical care as soon as possible.  Immobilize the area in the position it was found.  Do not attempt to straighten the leg yourself, as you may do further injury to the bones and blood vessels of the leg.

Placing ice on the injured area may help for some pain control and to decrease some of the swelling.  But the most important treatment is to have a doctor assess the injury and relocate or put the knee back in place.

Medical Treatment

  • Relocation: The doctor will move your knee joint and lower leg back into position after sedating you or giving you a general anesthetic.
  • Immobilization: To keep further injury from happening and to help with the beginning of healing, the entire knee joint will be kept in a splint or immobilizer after the knee joint is moved back into place.  This will keep the knee from bending and help the tissues to start healing.
  • Referral: A knee dislocation almost always has severe tears of the ligaments and sometimes has breaks in the bones of the knee.  Often there are injuries to the blood vessels that may require immediate repair to restore circulation to the leg.  After swelling has gone down, the knee joint may need surgery to regain function.  A bone specialist (orthopedist) will need to see you after this injury.

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