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Knee Dislocation

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A knee dislocation happens when an injury forces your thigh bone out of alignment with your shin bone. It may occur with other injuries. It can also cause torn ligaments in your knee or nerve damage. It can be caused by a car or motorcycle accident, a sports injury, or a fall.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Prescription pain medicine helps decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Antibiotics help fight or prevent an infection. They may be given if you have an open wound.
  • Blood thinners reduce your risk of a blood clot.
  • A tetanus shot can help prevent a life-threatening infection if bacteria enters your wound. It may be needed if you have an open wound.

Monitoring:

Your healthcare provider will monitor the pulse in your lower leg and foot. This is done to make sure you have blood flow to your leg.

Tests:

  • X-rays are pictures of your knee. They are used to see if your knee is dislocated and if you have other injuries.
  • An arteriogram is an x-ray test in which dye is injected into your blood vessels. The pictures will show if blood is flowing normally through your leg. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures of your knee on a monitor. The pictures are used to look for damage to blood vessels or nerves.
  • An MRI scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your knee. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • A CT scan is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your knee. You may be given dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Treatment:

  • Reduction is a procedure to move your leg bones back into place. This is done by moving your knee and leg in different positions until your bones line up properly. You will be given medicine to help you relax before your healthcare provider reduces your knee. Reduction is sometimes done during surgery. After reduction, you will have another x-ray.
  • Fasciotomy is a procedure to make a long incision in your leg. This is done to relieve the pressure caused by swelling or bleeding.
  • Surgery may be done to repair damaged nerves, ligaments, and blood vessels. It may also be done to move your leg bones back into place. Your healthcare provider may perform surgery right away after your knee dislocation. He may decide to wait until other injuries are treated to perform surgery.
  • Foot pumps or pressure stockings may be placed on your legs to prevent blood clots. Foot pumps are inflatable boots that are connected to an air pump. The pump tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. Pressure stockings are long, tight stockings that put pressure on your legs. This promotes blood flow and helps prevent clots.

RISKS:

You could have tissue damage or an infection if you have an open wound. You may have nerve damage. This can make it hard for you to lift or move your foot. You may have small pieces of bone or cartilage in your knee. You could have heavy bleeding caused by damage to the blood vessels in your leg. Your leg may need to be amputated above the knee. You could have a blood clot in your leg or lungs. This may become life-threatening. You may have long-term pain or arthritis in your knee. You may need more surgery in the future. Even after treatment, there is a higher risk that you might dislocate your knee again.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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