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A 24-year-old member asked:

i popped my knee cap out, how long before i can return to sports?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vishal Shah
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
It varies: Generally, an isolated dislocation of the kneecap without associated injuries can be successfully treated with rehabilitation and bracing and allow a successful return to sports in 4-6 weeks. This can vary widely depending on patient factors, severity of the injury, dedication to rehab, number of dislocations, and associated injuries. If surgery is required, return to sport can take longer.
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Orthopedic Surgery 32 years experience
3-6 wks but variable: Initial patella dislocations are treated by reduction and immobilization. Once pain has resolved and motion and strength return (usually with therapy), progression toward normal activities is allowed. Bracing to help stabilize the patella is often utilized. Rarely, surgery is indicated to stabilize the unstable patella. Your orthopaedic surgeon will help determine the best treatment for your knee.

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Similar questions

A 33-year-old member asked:

What kind of therapies are done after a knee cap breaks?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mary Ann Block
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
Many: Physical therapy with machines and equipment are done as well as home exercises. Physical therapy after breaking your knee cap can make an enormous difference in recovery.
Martinsburg, WV
A 25-year-old female asked:

I heard something tear underneath my knee cap when I bent down to pick up a towel. It hurts bad! what happened?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregory Fehr
Emergency Medicine 45 years experience
Knee cap: Could be a number of things, from a tendon or cruciate tear to some innocent "creaking". Let it rest for two weeks, if then it still hurts, you'll need an orthopod to get an MRI of your knee.
ME
A 43-year-old female asked:

What can be done for a knee cap that moves wrong across your knee?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michio Abe
Internal Medicine 26 years experience
Patellar tracking: Patellar tracking disorder occurs when the kneecap shifts out of place as the leg bends or straightens. It can be due to your anatomy and knee overuse. Take a break from activities that cause knee pain, like squatting, kneeling, running, and jumping. Put ice on your knee, and take antiinflammatory or pain medicines. Strengthen your thigh muscles to keep your kneecap stable.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Where can a knee cap shifting out of place go?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Feig
Family Medicine 18 years experience
Lateral knee: A knee cap that subluxes or dislocates will almost always do so laterally and will sit on the lateral plateau of the tibia. It will be painful but generally a forceful contraction/flexion of the knee will pop it back into place, and it will bump against the lateral knee and cause pain, swelling and a possible bone bruise. Expect lots of swelling in the knee after a dislocation or subluxation.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Why does my knee cap pop into place?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Sider
Sports Medicine 39 years experience
Instability: You may have some patella instability which may be causing patella instabilty quad strengthening, bracing/taping and therapy may be helpful.

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Last updated Feb 17, 2013
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