Pitt’s a college football team on the verge of doing well, so it was bad news today that a very aggressive freshman named Chris Jacobson dislocated his knee cap. Chris is an offensive lineman and was competing for a starting job on the offensive line.
The injury happened during a pass rush drill. Coach Dave Wannstedt said:
We’ll see what happens and try to get him back as quick as we can. Nothing will be decided how long he’ll be out until after the surgery.
This is good news that he might not miss the season, but as a true freshmen it might be better to shut him down for the year.
The funny thing about your knee cap is that it’s not really called a knee cap. It’s called a patella. Ok, so it is called a knee cap, but you get what I am saying. Patella is the proper term. I’m going to use knee cap from here on out.
What does your knee cap do? It acts as a lever so you can extend your leg. It’s attached to the top of your leg and the bottom of your leg. Without a knee cap you wouldn’t be able to extend your leg.
How do you dislocate your knee cap? Blunt force trauma and stress on the knee joint. Most of the time it happens if you plant your foot and turn violently to the other direction. This is what probably happened to Chris Jacobson.
What are the symptoms of the dislocated knee cap? Swelling and pain. If you move your dislocated knee cap you’ll see how it moves easily side to side.
How do you treat a dislocated knee cap? If it’s a minor dislocation you can use a cast to immobilize it. This allows the knee cap to strengthen in place. But, you won’t know if it’s a minor dislocation unless an MRI or X-ray is completed. If it turns out to be a major dislocation it could cause a broken bone or tendon damage. Major dislocations require surgery to stabilize the knee cap.
How long does it take to rehabilitate your dislocated knee cap? It all depends on the severity. For minor dislocated knee caps it might be two weeks. For major knee dislocations requiring surgery it might take six weeks. In both cases you’ll need physical therapy to increase knee strength and promote knee flexibility.