What to Do about Your Kneecap Injury

A kneecap injury can happen at any time.  You might be surprised to learn that most kneecap injuries don’t happen during sports but just while people are going about their regular business at home or at work.  Your average kneecap injury happens because a person just twists their leg in an awkward way.  Therefore, although you can get a kneecap injury when something hits you in the knee, most injuries have more to do with torque than blunt force.

Home Guide to Treating a Kneecap Injury

In the vast majority of cases, you can treat a kneecap injury as you would any other injury you get, with the RICE method.  (RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate).  However, if you really want to be on the safe side you should go to a doctor and get it checked out.

If you notice that you have hurt your knee, the first thing to do is stop using it.  If you get an awkward twist while you are puttering about the house and you feel pain, sit down for a while, and wait until it passes.  This will allow you to get a sense of how injured you might be.  Many injuries get worse when people ignore their own bodily signals and keep going about their business.

The next thing to do is to apply an ice pack.  This will both help with pain and more importantly, reduce swelling should it occur.  If you get a kneecap injury that lasts for more than a day, you should continue to apply ice twice a day during the course of the injury.

Next, you should wrap your knee up so that you give it extra support.  Take medical tape and wrap it around your knee until it feels snug in place.

Finally, it is sometimes a good idea to elevate your knee so that you reduce the circulation to it.

When to Seek Professional Help

Although minor kneecap injuries can be treated by yourself, there are certain times when you should definitely seek the help of a physician.  One of these key times is when you are when your kneecap feels as if it has slid out of place.  This could be a sign of more serious trouble.  In addition, if your kneecap feels as if it is broken into more than one piece because of blunt force trauma, then you definitely should seek help right away.

What are some other signs that you need medical attention?  If the pain remains intense or unbearable for more than an hour or swelling is very severe, you should find a doctor.  Similarly, if you start to lose feeling below your kneecap, or get a tingling sensation in your toes, you should get medical help right away. 

You should also get help if the pain begins to spread or if you start noticing discoloration below or above your kneecap. 

In addition, if after a week of rest and treatment, you continue to experience the same level of discomfort, then you should go to the physician so that they can diagnose the problem.  Your physician may be able to run tests to help identify the exact source of the problem.  Your doctor might also prescribe certain kinds of anti-inflammatory medications that will help your kneecap injury heal more quickly and more effectively.

You should not simply “live with the pain,” regardless of how stoic you believe you are capable of being.  A long-term injury can worsen over time and lead to several more severe consequences.  So be sure to get any prolonged injury checked out.