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The patella or kneecap is one of the three bones that compose the joint that is commonly referred to as the knee. This particular joint is extremely important to a person's mobility, as it provides the means for the upper and lower leg to connect and interact in such essential tasks as walking and running. Kneecap injuries can have a profound impact on the efficiency of the joint, as well as on the leg in general. Here are some examples of the more common kneecap injuries, and how they can be treated.
Runner’s knee is one of the more common types of patella injuries that can occur with persons who are physically active with walking or running. Essentially, kneecap injuries of this type take place when the cartilage just under the kneecap becomes inflamed. The inflammation may be due to infection or simply strain on the joint during extended amounts of usage.
Prepatellar bursitis is another common example of kneecap injuries. Sometimes known as housemaid’s knee, this particular injury to one or more kneecaps is the result of kneeling and placing pressure on the kneecap for extended periods of time. Persons who work in professions where there is a lot of time spent in a kneeling position, such as carpet layers, are prone to developing this type of injury. The condition is characterized by swelling under and around the kneecap that can be quite painful.
Dislocated kneecaps are another form of kneecap injuries that occur with a great deal of regularity. As with runner’s knee, this injury normally occurs when a great deal of stress is put on the knee joint, especially when the stress pulls the components of the knee joint into unnatural positions. The result can be extremely painful and may lead to permanent disability if not addressed in a timely manner.
Treating kneecap injuries is usually a multi-layered process. Resting the kneecap is common to all types of knee injuries. In some cases, simply choosing to not engage in the activity that caused the stress will allow the swelling to subside. The application of both hot and cold compresses may be helpful as well.
However, not all types of knee injuries will heal by simply resting the knee and applying ice and heat. Some will require the aid of prescription medication to deal with infection, swelling, and inflammation in the area. In extreme cases, surgery and follow up physical therapy may be required, especially if the kneecap is dislocated.
When kneecap injuries do not seem to respond to rest and a combination of ice and heat compresses, professional medical attention should be sought immediately. While many types of kneecap injuries can be treated successfully, delaying medical attention will compound the problem and could lead to some permanent loss of mobility.
I hit my kneecap and after three weeks, still have pain on the medial side of the knee. Not sure what I did exactly(?)
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