How is your patella holding up?
Do you have problems with it being unstable?
Chronic knee dislocation is a term often used to describe a dislocation or displacement of the knee cap. It is not equal to a traumatic dislocation, which is a very serious matter, usually due to a trauma to the knee. With a traumatic knee dislocation, the upper and lower leg bones are separated at the knee, and significant damage is usually sustained to the structures both in and around the knee joint (i.e. torn ligaments, vascular injury, etc.). A traumatic dislocation is extremely painful, generally requires immediate medical attention, and often requires surgery to repair the damage to the joint. If you feel like you have had a traumatic knee dislocation, there is no doubt that you should speak with your physician right away. A chronic knee dislocation, on the other hand, is also quite painful, but in many instances, can be treated more conservatively.
With chronic knee dislocation, the knee cap (otherwise called the patella) slips out of place and generally causes irritation, inflammation and a sensation that the knee is weak or “giving out”. Basically, the triangular bone we know as the kneecap is designed to move smoothly over the top of the femur (upper leg bone), staying within a certain groove which nature designed for that purpose. When chronic knee cap dislocation occurs, the cap strays outside of that groove, adversely affecting the other structures (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.) in and around the knee. As a result, the knee does not bend as fluidly, and can feel more stiff. Fluid build up (edema) and discomfort may set in as well. Your knee may also make a “popping” sound upon movement. This condition may come and go as the cap slips in and out of the groove, and the pain from chronic knee dislocation may vary in intensity.
Generally, if the condition becomes severe enough and if it significantly interferes with your activities, you may need to discuss your options, including possible surgery, with your physician. However, in the interim, the use of a brace may help relieve the condition and allow you to function more normally without experiencing frequent chronic knee dislocation.
Knee braces come in a variety of styles and types. Generally, though, one of the main purposes of a knee brace in this instance, is to keep your kneecap in its proper position within the femoral groove. A knee brace can also help lend support to the knee joint so that the pressure and stress that might contribute to chronic knee dislocation are somewhat relieved, making it less likely that the kneecap will be pulled out of alignment. Many well designed knee support allow for a vast range of mobility, and depending on your injury level, they can allow you to perform many if not all of your previous activities of daily living. Sometimes it is important to keep the leg in a straight position, while other times you can move it more naturally. They are adjustable to fit most knees, are easy to use, and are relatively affordable, especially when compared to other treatment options, such as surgery or extensive therapy.
An extra, helpful aspect of knee supports is that they will help you feel more support physically, which transfers over to a more secure mental outlook as well. The mental support a brace can help provide is very helpful when you are trying to get on with your daily activities, instead of focusing on your disclocating kneecap.