Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience and a medical advice columnist for Newsmax Magazine. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Are Joint Dislocations Serious?

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 06:18 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: My bones sometimes move out of position most especially when I participate in sports. Just a few weeks ago my right knee dislocated, and this is not the first time it happened. My knee is still swollen and when I walk up stairs I feel pain. What should I do? I still want to play sports.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Knee dislocations — except for serious dislocations of the patella, the little bone in the front of the knee — almost always indicate a serious injury to the knee joint or ligaments. They can also be caused by a bone fracture.
You should not attempt to walk on an injured knee at all, as you can easily damage adjacent ligaments that may not have been involved with your initial injury. Use crutches and see your doctor for an MRI and referral to an orthopedic specialist to see about the advisability of scope evaluation (arthroscopy) and surgical correction.
Unfortunately, repeated injury may have damaged your knee joint, but it is possible your dislocation will represent an isolated ligament problem that can be readily repaired, instead of a more complex situation.

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