Patrick Mularoni, MD
The knee cap is a triangular bone that is located between the quadriceps muscles and the tibial tuberosity in the lower leg.
This structure can be dislocated when the foot is planted and there is significant stress in the lateral direction. The athlete will usually notice a deformity in the area of the knee as the knee cap is usually located on the lateral aspect of the knee. They will have a bent knee and will have the sensation that they cannot straighten the leg. When the leg is straightened the knee cap will move back in place.
After an injury like this there is significant pain and swelling.
In evaluating this condition an initial X-ray and possibly an MRI is needed to determine if there is a boney injury to the knee. The knee will be immobilized and a patient who has dislocated their kneecap will often need crutches to walk.
At the Sports Medicine clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children's we can evaluate your injury and determine the best way to get you back in the game.