Knee Popping Out of Place

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    Jul 06, 2007 3:20 AM GMT
    Hey guys!

    I have slightly damaged knees and hips from when I did gymnastics (I think0.

    Over the last year, my leg has started popping a little bit out of place. It just happens randomly. and there's a flash of pain in the first second, and then I just... can't really move my leg for a while.

    Usually it's okay because it happens when I'm standing up from sitting on the couch/floor, or laying down on the floor. But once it happened while I was just walking along, and the pain was so sudden and intense that I ended up falling and sprawled out on the floor, with one knee stuck at an odd angle.

    I'm a little worried about something like that happening while I'm lifting weights (yikes!) or jogging. I'm certain that if I were holding something heavy when it happened, I would probably fall with whatever it was on top of me, or drop the item. If I were running... well, can you say, "faceplant"?

    Would something as simple as wearing a knee brace be effective for preventing this when I'm working out?

    And, beyond that, is there anything I can do to... I don't know. Strengthen my tendons or... make my leg-bone be more connected to the knee-bone (which is connected to the... hip-bone! Oh hear the word of the Lord!)?

    It seems like if I grit through a little pain, I can swivel my thigh from the hip outwards, away from my body, and then unbend my lower leg slowly till my knee pops back into place. And there is an audible popping noise. I don't know if that was just a one-time thing, though... I 'discovered' it tonight... all of the other times, I just kind of... wait for it to pass, and somehow do something that makes it pop back into place.
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    Jul 06, 2007 3:30 AM GMT
    Also! Forgot to even mention this... I -think- this might be what it is. The two bolded parts are mine, and the things that are of interest to me:

    Medial and Lateral Collateral Ligament Injuries

    The medial collateral ligament is more easily injured than the lateral collateral ligament. The cause of collateral ligament injuries is most often a blow to the outer side of the knee that stretches and tears the ligament on the inner side of the knee. Such blows frequently occur in contact sports like football or hockey.


    When injury to the medial collateral ligament occurs, you may feel a pop and the knee may buckle sideways. Pain and swelling are common.


    A thorough examination is needed to determine the kind and extent of the injury. In diagnosing a collateral ligament injury, the doctor exerts pressure on the side of the knee to determine the degree of pain and the looseness of the joint. An MRI is helpful in diagnosing injuries to these ligaments.


    Most sprains of the collateral ligaments will heal if you follow a prescribed exercise program. In addition to exercise, the doctor may recommend ice packs to reduce pain and swelling, and a small sleeve-type brace to protect and stabilize the knee. A sprain may take 2 to 4 weeks to heal. A severely sprained or torn collateral ligament may be accompanied by a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which usually requires surgical repair.

    Now, I don't know that I have a particular injury to my knee that would have been severe enough to cause this... however my knees have always been extremely flexible. I can kick my heel up behind me, like a hamstring-stretch, but then bend my foot forward so that it goes past my ribs... I haven't met many other people who can do this.

    I don't do it often! Maybe, like, once a year, just to see if I still can. I certainly haven't done it in over a year, but I know I still can.

    So, if my knees are naturally that 'loose', is it possible that their natural looseness is causing this?
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    Jul 06, 2007 4:35 AM GMT
    I can't imagine you could have loose enough knee ligaments to allow it to really pop out of place like that. You've got 4 big ligaments holding the knee in place sideways, forwards, and backwards, so if your lower leg can "pop out of place" relative to your upper leg (i.e. thigh, femur) then you might have torn one of those ligaments. I've had friends tear an MCL and not realize it until later -- one insisted she was fine and demonstrated by jumping up in the air... and when she landed, her leg gave out sideways and she just fell immediately over. Whoops!

    Definitely have it checked out. A good sports medicine doctor might be able to diagnose that just by twisting & pulling on the knee, or maybe it'll take an MRI to see, but better taken care of sooner than later!
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    Jul 06, 2007 4:58 AM GMT
    Coffeecup, I'd ask NYCmusc4musc as this is part of his area of expertise. You can get patellar subluxation where your knee cap can "pop" part-way or all the way out, but I don't know that that's really what your describing.
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    Jul 09, 2007 3:32 AM GMT
    Hard to say what is going on with your knee from what you state on-line. Your assesment sounds plausible, but many things could be the case. Chances are big that the ligaments are loose, but in my case i have undergone the same symptoms only because my IT band (the muscle band on the outside of the leg) was tight, which caused my kneecap to get out of allignment as well... You can roll it out with these plastic rollers they sell at sport stores.

    Another plausible option, more plausible even, is that it is your meniscus. Operate might be the only remedy. Surgery is simple and you will be out of the hospital directly.

    Moral of the story. Have it checked out! You only have one body...

    Hope you will figure out a solution!
    All the best!
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    Jul 13, 2007 2:26 AM GMT
    I am back after a 2 week vacation... So here is my take.

    The "knee" is technically 2 joints: the condyle joint and the patellar joint.

    You really cannot "dislocate" your knee condyle joint.. It can be unstable due to ligamentus injuries, but it will not dislocate due to the way the joint capsule and the retinaculum tissues covering the patellar is layered out. If you brreak through all the 4 ligaments (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) and also the joint capsule and retinaculum, your shine would be dangling, almost detached, and you would not be weight bear on it AT ALL...

    Ligamentus injuries would show up as symptons of instability. MCL and LCL with all weight bearing activities, especially ones with cutting and single leg stance. ACL and PCL would show itself when doing stairs, especially descending. There are people walking around with complete tears of ACL, so you can function with torn ACL, without pain, just not very well.

    MCL is also somewhat attached to the medial meniscus and ACL. Sometime s breaking one would tear all three..what we called Unhappy Triad.

    However, knee caps can do do dislocate often with your sports, and when it does, if completely dislocated, the pain will make you see stars...

    Like all joint, once the fibrous tissue and ligaments are stretched out, gradual or traumatic, will not return to its original length, and you are permanently looser...

    You need to see a good sports medical team of ortho and specialized PTs and also possibly ATCs to examine your knee, not only statics, but under motion in passive and active/weight bearing manners to determine if there is patellar laxity, and if there is, what direction and what layer is lax (deeper layer laxity causes the patellar to tilt, superficial layer causes the patellar to move side ways and upwards.)

    Only then can a clinician determine how effective rehab can be for you.
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    May 08, 2009 3:15 AM GMT
    I dislocated my knee cap in 2000. Lots of physical therapy. Recovered.

    Went skiing this February. Serious knee pain. No particular fall to cause injury. After a few days couldn't walk. Knee cap was popping in and out.

    Apparently, I stretched the ligaments holding quad to knee cap.

    Surgery last week: it's called a lateral raise. They cut the ligament on the far outside of the knee cap and shorten the opposite ligament on the inside of the knee cap. In my case they actually discovered that the knee cap had scuffed up the end of my femur and to fix that as well. I can't bend my knee at all for four weeks. After that, I can only bend it 90 degrees. Physical therapy begins as soon as I can bend it. PT is expected to be at least six weeks, three times a week. The brace is hip to ankle, and I can't fit into the front seat of a car. Showering and trying to not bend your knee is nearly impossible. I happened to have an extra immobilizer brace that I wear in the shower. I recommend getting a second immobilizer if you have this surgery.

    MOST PAINFUL EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE! Worse than spraining ankle. Worse than blinding migraines. It's been a week, and I'm still on the sofa--in pain.

    There are several other procedures to fix the problem, but a lateral raise is most reliable, according to my doctor. He said he's been doing them for 20 years and has only had one failure.

    I'm hoping it is a successful recovery. In the meantime, I'm bitter that beach season is coming, and I can't get to the gym.
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    Dec 28, 2010 11:48 PM GMT
    As a gymnast, you have to be aware that gymnastics is one of the most demanding and strenuous sports around. Right along with its tough and exacting nature come the injuries. Do you know that gymnasts incur injuries as often as football players do?
    One other thing a gymnast should know is how to be attuned to his body throughout all its motion during the execution of a move. If for instance, he’s in the middle of a twist, she should be able to sense if he’s twisted far enough or too much. If he’s performing a somersault, he should know how far he’s rotated so he’ll be able to land correctly. Being aware of her body orientation at all times is crucial to keeping her safe from potential injuries.

    Most times, injuries occur because some of the muscles involved in the execution of a trick are not strong enough to withstand the stress placed on the joints during movement. This often happens to children whose bones are still in the process of growing. The most common of these injuries are sprained or twisted ankles, which occur when the small but vital muscles that run down from the calf to the foot are not tough enough to cushion the joint underneath. To prevent sprained and twisted ankles, the muscles surrounding them should be trained and conditioned regularly. Make sure the coach implements sufficient conditioning exercises that include the ankles.
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    Dec 28, 2010 11:53 PM GMT
    Dear god!....Why resurrect a posting from 2007!!.....LMAOicon_eek.gif