Stuff I'm Thinking About

My Knee

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I totally dislocated something in my knee last night. Does that warrant a blog post? I suppose, but what this is really about is the reminder I received that we’re not invincible and how truly fragile the human body can be. Sure, it can be pretty flippin’ resilient at times, but as the incident of last night illustrates, it’s also very fragile.

A buddy and I were roughhousing as only 19-year-olds should. Things were going just fine until I was pushed back and fell awkwardly on to my bed with him tackling me. I guess the placement and direction of the force was just right, resulting in my knee looking totally different. With a little groaning my friend quickly popped it back in to place and I was back walking around, albeit with a fair amount of discomfort, which I’m going to have to deal with for a few weeks now.

So lesson to learn here is: be prepared to face the flames or get the heck out of the kitchen.

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4 thoughts on “My Knee

  1. Francois says:

    Ouch, ouch, ouch! You have my sympathy. Are you sure you did not dislocate your patella (kneecap)? It is quite easy to do if you twist your knee. Knees are bastards and injuries need to be treated carefully to prevent future issues. If it was a dislocation of the patella you will need to follow a good treatment regime to strengthen the ligaments holding it in place or you will run the risk of future dislocations — which can cause serious knee injury. I would strongly suggest that you see a doctor just to be sure. Anyway, get well soon.

    • Colin Parks says:

      Thanks for the sympathy Francois. I did go and see the doctor despite my friend’s insistence that it would ultimately be a waste of time — that common sense would prevail — and he was pretty close to right. The doctor suggested that I may have either dislocated my kneecap or shifted something in the knee just enough, or a combination there of. Either way, the doc recommended I take it easy for a few weeks, but said nothing about any rehabilitation regimen. I would assume it’s minor enough to not warrant it.

      Would you have any suggestions on rehab exercises/stretching, Francois?

      • francois says:

        What I know is based on my own experience after dislocating my patella seven weeks ago, whist skating. So I’m heavily prejudiced 😉 and can’t offer medical advice. From the sound of it, and the fact that you are walking around, it seems like you were much luckier – which is a very, very good thing! My knee looked a bit like this after the accident, where the patella had clearly migrated to the right of the leg: http://www.raems.com/dislocated%20patella.jpg I did not try to relocate it, but my understanding is that it will often snap back in position if you straighten your knee.

        For me, rehabilitation meant four weeks in a leg brace to immobilise the knee completely, allowing the tendons and ligaments to heal (form scar tissue). This is quite important because the patella, which is a free-floating bone sitting on top of the tibia and femoral bones, are held in position by the ligaments and tendons. When the brace came off, I couldn’t bend my knee more than about 10 degrees, as the knee became stiff from disuse. Physio and stretching exercises over the last three weeks were aimed at getting flexibility of the joint back and rebuilding the leg muscles — which lost about 60% of it strength during the 4 weeks in the brace.

        Doctors tend to follow a conservative treatment plan where knee injuries are concerned. I’m sure your Doc would have bent you leg/knee in every possible direction, and pushed the patella around as part of his/her assessment. So it sounds like you are in the clear. I would follow the Doc’s advice and take it easy for a few weeks, allowing any stretched tendons and ligaments to recover. The general advice I received from my physio is that strengthening the leg muscles are good for keeping the knee in good shape. She prescribed the following types of exercises: http://www.bigkneepain.com/knee-exercises.html

        But for now give it a good rest! Quick recovery to you.

      • Colin Parks says:

        Yeah, I recall my knee looking a little like that photo you linked, but I obviously escaped rather lucky. Thanks for all the info Francois — this is my first real knee injury and I guess I just expect it to be worse than it is.

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