T Nation

Dislocating Kneecap


So I dislocated my left patella for the second time over the weekend. I am out of commission for at least a month while the swelling goes down and the knee ligaments heal up, after which I will be looking into the possibility of knee surgery since this is a recurring injury for me.

Really depressing injury after going strong with lifting for three months and dropping 30 pounds, felt close to the point where I could start working on hypertrophy. Oh well, temporary setback I supposed.

Was just curious if anyone had any experience with kneecap dislocation and how long their recovery/rehab was or whether they pursued surgery. Thanks.


Hi. I first dislocated my right knee approx 4 years ago playing football (soccer). Since then it has been a constant weak point, and has popped out at least 2 other times. I decided that i'd avoid surgery as it was too risky if you can't afford to see someone who really knows what they are doing (i.e. not anyone working for the NHS here in England!). I've had to avoid too much sports that require twisting and turning at pace, but have been able to build good strength at the gym with the help of a knee brace. The type i use has metal hindges on both sides to avoid any left and right knee cap slippage! I can now lift more than i've even been able to (leg wise) however i'm still unable to go full out while running.

I would say take the best option for you, for me it was just a requirement to be able to walk in my old age! if you feel like surgery is for you, i wish you the best of luck, i'd say it would take at least a year to 'fully recover' if that was your route of choice. For now remember to PRICE your knee, Protect Rest Ice Compression Elevation, give it some time before you attempt anything too heavy. Best of luck


I dislocated my knee cap, cracked it, and tore some miniscus in high school while playing football. I also ended up playing the whole season with it like that. I payed the price and had to get surgery on it twice. It depends on how loose it is, and whether or not it heals off to the side. If it does than it will just keep dislocating. I had about 3 months of being off it, twice, and a couple months of rehab, twice. I was a dumb kid and didn't listen to my doctor, i took the brace off often and prob set it back alot. I'm 100% now and squat big so in retrospect I'm glad I got surgery, although ice sometimes makes it pop out a bit. lol

So if you take away the whole football season I played with it, the fact I didn't heed my doctors advice, and it healing of to the side the first time, than healing and rehab is prob about 4 months. Hope that helped...


do you find that your knee injuries made it hard to come back to squatting? I've had some minicus problems from playing high school football myself (repeatedly sprained or whatever) and whenever i squat i find my right glute (yes it was my right knee i hurt) doesnt fire properly and causes me to get an uneven amount of drive out of the hole. Makes for a very unbalanced uneven looking squat. If i do enough single leg work for long enough the situation improves but it NEVER seems to go away completly.


When I was younger and played soccer, I dislocated my patellas a total of 8 times (4 for each). I tried the physical therapy crap and just letting it heal, but that never worked. The only thing that ever worked to help protect my knee were deep back squats (besides not running). Let it heal for now, but get back into squatting mode as soon as you can. The muscles will help protect it and keep your patellas in line.