Should I worry about my kneecap popping out?

When you suffer what you think is a minor injury, when should you see a doctor? Are you at risk for causing more damage? In this week’s Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer that question from a reader who feels she suffered a patellar dislocation.

Katie asks:

My kneecap popped out and back in, just about that fast last night. It was painful, but not so much that I stopped playing volleyball. It’s a little sore today, and I’m supposed to play again this afternoon. Will it cause additional damage to play through the MINOR pain? And is that something that is serious enough that I should go see a doctor?

Generally, I think it can always be a good idea to see a doctor is you aren’t sure if your knee injury is serious. Often if the symptoms are mild, many people can return to exercise or playing sports and see how it goes over the next few days. If they can’t do it as well as they would like, they can see a doctor to find out what the injury is.

Also read:
Return to sports after patellar tendon repair

Some injuries, like patellar dislocations, can cause problems that last for more than a few days, or even become repeated problems. In this video, I discuss some of the signs and symptoms to watch for and how a patient can recover from one of these injuries as quickly as possible.

Also read:
Treatment of a first-time patella dislocation

Doctor examining knee patella