I'm going to share my experience with my dislocated patella here and I'll be keeping it updated as I go. I do not see a lot of stories around online so just thought I'd post mine for anyone here if they were to ever go through it.
I dislocated my kneecap playing soccer on March 13th 2019. I landed on it wrong and I heard a loud pop and instantly I thought "ACL" but I looked down at my knee just to see my kneecap on the outside of my knee! The pain was very intense and probably the worst I've ever felt. About 15 seconds after popping out it popped back in on its own without anyone touching it. I went straight to the nearest Urgent Care for an X-RAY just to make sure my bones were all ok. They saw no problems bone wise and advised it would swell up over night, they gave me a brace for it. I also had full ROM (range of motion) in my knee that night with no pain. The next morning I wake up and it's super swollen and stiff, I couldn't walk on it at all. I got some crutches and that helped me a lot for the first couple of days. Also, the only medicine I'm taking is ibruprofen.
1 Week later:
Exactly a week later I felt a sharp sudden pain right below my knee cap and I went to get another X-ray. They told me they saw no bone issue but noticed a lot of fluid under and around my knee (knee effusion) I could tell because my knee still had a considerable amount of swelling even though I was following the RICE method (rest ice compress elevate).
Got to see my orthopedic this week and he told me it's not my ACL and he doubts I would need surgery so let's hope that's right, but I have to wait to get my MRI for another week and I can't get my results until April 15th! He also told me swelling is very normal still at this point and did not offer to drain it. I have a little more ROM and I can straighten my leg a little more but not bend it so much. It is still considerably swollen and tight but much stronger as I can walk on it with no pain but I have to walk with a limp. I still use the RICE method but sometimes use heat over ice per orthopedic opinion.
I got an MRI but haven't seen results yet, have to wait until April 15th. My knee is still swollen a good amount and I still can't bend it or straighten it completely but I have a much better ROM. I'm starting to walk a lot easier on it and with less of a limp. I'm still trying to get swelling down using the methods I was told to try. Using ibruprofen only also. I use my knee brace when I go out but not when at home. Recovery for me seems to be going alright and I feel like it's getting stronger but who knows until I see my MRI results!
MRI results on Monday, still don't know what's exactly wrong with my knee. My knee is still swollen but not as much. I can't straighten it all the way or bend it all the way without feeling a little pinch in my knee. I have a much better ROM than week 3 thought. Using ibruprofen still only. I feel like I can walk better on it and it is stronger to keep pressure on it. I still limp a little but not a significant amount. I can't run or jump yet. Seems to be harder walking down stairs and down a hill than going upstairs or walking on incline. Not sure why that is.
Doing this a day early as I got my results from the orthopedic yesterday. Turns out I had a small fracture on my patella and it bled and had fat in it and that's where all my swelling comes from. All of my ligaments are intact and my meniscus is intact. I sprained my MPFL (which happens everytime you dislocate your patella) and that is also a reason for swelling. Was told no surgery is needed and I can go back to my normal life soon! The healing is 6-9 weeks he said and I'm on week 5 now. It feels so much better and is not as swollen. Feel like I'll be better around week 8 or 9. I will post a picture of my MRI report when I get the chance just in case anyone was interested.
6 Weeks Later:
I have full ROM in my knee. I can walk perfectly normal. I have no pain doing anything and I have even started biking more on a stationary bike and weight training on my leg again. It is still swollen and you can tell and I can still feel that but it doesnt hurt at all. I am doing a lot better going down stairs and down a slope. I feel like I am touching full recovery and hoping I will be there very soon.
Will keep you updated as I go!
Here's a image of what happened, I had a dislocation towards the outside of my knee.
Hurting yourself while play sports is one of the worse feelings ever! Hope you have a quick recovery! Busted my head open one lacrosse practice and was out for the season and I felt like I let everyone down.