Knee Dislocation : Judo Injuries

The most common injuries you are likely to sustain in judo are those affecting the knee, primarily caused by the focus on physical contact and fast paced turning and twisting. A knee dislocation comes in two forms: patellar (kneecap) dislocations and knee joint dislocations. These can occur during activity as the result of a high speed injury.

Symptoms of Knee Dislocation

Prior to any symptoms, there will usually be a traumatic blow to the knee (or an abnormal movement). This is followed by severe pain in the area and is sometimes accompanied by numbness in the lower leg. The knee can appear openly deformed, with the leg bent or crooked. Swelling can arise where the knee has shifted or repositioned. Some people may be unable to detect their pulse in the foot below the affected knee. The above symptoms vary depending on the severity of the dislocation.

Causes of Knee Dislocation

A dislocation is quite rare in comparison with other knee injuries, and is most frequently provoked by major trauma to the knee. In judo this can occur when falling to the mat after a grapple or throw and landing awkwardly on the knee. Any forceful enough impact can potentially trigger a dislocation, including colliding with your opponent at high speed while standing or grappling.

Medical Attention

Your knee will need to be reset regardless of the seriousness of the injury, so it is important to report to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Symptoms that can indicate a harsher dislocation include numbness, lack of pulse in the foot, a clear change of shape in the knee, and severe ongoing pain.

Medical Treatment

The doctor may take various tests depending on how the injury looks and other symptoms. An x-ray can help to rule out any broken bones, while examining the condition of nearby arteries and nerves can also be crucial in ruling out further complications. If the patellar has been dislocated then this can generally be put back into position with relative ease by a professional. This involves realigning the kneecap with the end of the femur.

In the case of a more serious knee joint dislocation the tibia is dislocated from the femur, and because this affects more of the leg bones the injury requires more treatment. Surgery is often necessary to repair the joint, and this can leave you on crutches after the injury has been treated. Crutches assist in reducing pressure on the knee and removing the need to bear weight. A return to judo should only be undertaken when you are free of symptoms and have completed a program of physical therapy to rebuild strength and flexibility. The doctor can advise you further on these aspects of recovery.

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