Knee Popping after Dislocated Patella

Hey, Maybe some people will have some advice or point me in a direction to go.

About 4 months ago I dislocated my Patella during a Judo tournament. To this day, there is still some swelling in the knee (primarily the inner, upper corner, near VMO) and major popping of the knee (presumably the knee cap isn’t tracking correctly. I’m big on staying strong and in shape. It may not be impressive, but I love to squat heavy and deadlift heavy, and train hard in Judo and BJJ. So, this injury is really kicking my ass in many ways.

I had an Xray, which didn’t show anything. Then, a few weeks later, got in for an MRI. The MRI suggested the Patella dislocated, and that there was possible tearing of the VMO. But, the MRI suggested that everything else was fine. No damage of the major ligaments or meniscus.

But, as I said, it’s been 4 months since the injury. I still have popping in the knee and mild inflammation. I’ve been seeing a Physio Therapist who said he’s done all he can for me. Also, the Doctors I’ve seen have also said there’s nothing they can do for me. Apparently surgery is NOT required. In fact, I couldn’t even convince the first Doc that my knee was popping, he just played it off as regular cracks and pops that people have in there knees. And while I conceded that my knees also naturally pop and crack as well, this is a new major pop that wasn’t there before and is causing me discomfort and pain. But, nope, he wouldn’t hear of it.

I still can’t do proper squats or leg extension because of the discomfort, pain, and popping. But, I can do Quad flexion, Leg raises, terminal leg extensions, and a host of other easy, Micky Mouse exercises t’ll the cows come home!

I’m wondering if anyone else has dislocated their knee cap (Patella) and, if so, what you did to repair, heal, and get back to life. Or, if anyone here knows anything about this situation, or situations like it to draw a direction to go from.

Please and thanks!



Hi Mark,

I dislocated my kneecap for the 3rd time in January. All was fine untill about a month ago it started popping when bending it it is quite alarming one time it even sounded like bones crunching I went to my doctor and he said it was normal and could go away in a month but if not or if it starts causing me pain I likely need a scope surgery to go in and clean out all the cartalage in there. Sometimes it can settle in inconvenient places and cause things to pop eventually it can become a problem and cause your knee to lock up or serious damage. I would recommend getting a second opinion. My doctor is one of the best in the state of Texas when it comes to knee injuries and it is slightly concerning that yours does not seem alarmed. I still have not gotten the surgery I am going to wait 2 months to see if it goes away and get physical therapy, hopefully that will help my knee. It sounds like you are very active I hope yours gets better.

To be fair mine was a terrible dislocation (by far the worse I have ever done) and I had a very bad bone bruses and a slight impacted fracture on my femur.

I have no pictures to show of mine, but I did have some similar colors of bruising! lol

It’s been over a year, and my knee still isn’t the same. I’ve seen two docs and a physio therapist, and neither could fix my knee perfectly nor give any good advice about it. I live in NL, Canada. We don’t have the best docs here on this island and trying to get to the mainland and travel to docs is really expensive.

Although I am back to training/lifting now, it’s still not the same. It took many months to get back to squatting deep. And more months after for a return to Judo/BJJ. But, I’m doing it all again now. However, I don’t have the confidence in my knee. The patella doesn’t track properly I don’t think. It pops, snaps, and cracks A LOT! I have to spend a lot more time warming up now, and getting the knee moving. Usually when it’s warmed up, it’s not as bad. But, I still “feel” the knee, if that makes any sense to you. I can feel the ‘play’ in the patella.

I can’t make the docs around here understand or believe me lol! It is what it is now though. The docs here make it seem like I’m lying about it, or that it’s normal.

Hopefully, your injury heals better than mine, Meikachu!