Differences Between Knee Subluxation and Dislocation

How Do I Know If My Knee Pain Is Serious, Differences between knee subluxation and dislocation, Knee Brace Can Help with Meniscus Tear
Understanding the Differences Between Knee Subluxation and Dislocation: A Guide


Knee injuries are prevalent, and two of the most common problems are knee subluxation and dislocation. While they may appear to be the same, there are variances that might impact the course of treatment. In this tutorial from London physiotherapy clinic One Body LDN, we will look at the differences between knee subluxation and dislocation and the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for both.

Causes and Differences between knee subluxation and dislocation

Knee subluxation occurs when the patella (kneecap) is slightly displaced from its usual position in the groove at the end of the femur (thighbone). Knee dislocation, on the other hand, is a more serious injury that happens when the patella is fully separated from the femur. Traumatic injury, such as a fall, sports-related accident, or automobile catastrophe, can produce both disorders.

Overuse or repetitive stress on the knee joint can also result in knee subluxation. This is frequent among athletes who participate in sports that demand a lot of leaping, sprinting, or quick changes in direction, such as basketball, volleyball, or soccer. In certain situations, structural abnormalities in the knee, such as a shallow patellar groove or a misplaced patella, can also lead to knee subluxation.

Signs of Knee Subluxation and Dislocation

Similarities and differences between knee subluxation and dislocation: The symptoms of knee subluxation and dislocation might be similar, but there are several crucial distinctions. In both circumstances, there may be discomfort, oedema, and trouble moving the knee. Nonetheless, with knee subluxation, the patella usually returns to its normal position on its own or with moderate manipulation. When a knee dislocates, the patella will remain out of place unless it is physically restored by a medical practitioner.

Knee dislocation can result in numbness or tingling in the afflicted leg, as well as a visual deformity, in addition to pain and swelling. In certain circumstances, the surrounding ligaments, tendons, or nerves may be damaged as well.

Therapy Options for Knee Subluxation and Dislocation

The treatment options for knee subluxation and dislocation are determined on the degree of the injury and the underlying cause. Conservative therapies such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), as well as physiotherapy exercises, may be useful in lowering discomfort and recovering function in certain situations.

In more severe situations of knee subluxation or dislocation, medical intervention may be required. Treatment may involve the use of a knee brace or immobiliser to preserve the joint and aid healing, as well as surgery to repair any damage to the ligaments, tendons, or other structures in the knee.

Preventing Knee Subluxation and Dislocation

While knee injuries are not always avoidable, there are precautions you may do to lessen your risk of knee subluxation or dislocation. These are a few examples:

Strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee joint, notably the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Strong muscles give more support and stability to the knee.

Keeping a healthy weight. Extra weight places additional strain on the knee joint, increasing the chance of injury.

Using appropriate footwear for sports and other activities. Shoes with adequate shock absorption and support can assist lessen the impact on the knee joint.

Taking pauses or reducing activities that place strain on the knee joint. This can assist avoid overuse injuries that can lead to knee subluxation.


Knee subluxation and dislocation are two separate disorders that can cause discomfort, swelling, and difficulties moving the knee joint. While they may have similar symptoms, the severity and treatment choices varies.

If you are having knee issues and are looking for the best physiotherapy in London, contact One Body LDN today.

If you have access to – Bupa | Bupa cash plan | Bupa International | Vitality Healthcare | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Allianz | Healix | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Axa Health Insurance – our approved physiotherapists are ready to take care of you! Contact us today to learn more!



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