Here are 7 major causes of a locked knee
July 21, 2022

Two knee joints are very important for the human body. In addition to supporting the weight of the human body, the knees perform daily activities, such as standing, walking, and climbing stairs.

As a result of such frequent use, the knees are prone to injury and wear and tear. Both can lead to a locked knee, in which a person is unable to bend or straighten the knee.

There are two types of locked knee: real knee lock and knee lock. Continue reading to find out more about how to unlock the knee.

True Locked Knee

The actually locked knee is the one caused by mechanical problems in the joint. In other words, something is physically held inside the knee machine that prevents movement.

  • Loose bodies: Like cartilage, fragments of bone can also be attached to the knee joint, making it the key. Loose bodies such as cartilage and fragments of bone may be the result of injury or osteoarthritis.

  • Patella dislocation: A specific injury to the knee can cause the kneecap, or patella, to dislodge. This is called patella dislocation. It can cause the knee to lock during extension.

  • Knee Swelling: If the structures inside the knee are swollen and inflamed, they may prevent knee extension. Inflammation may occur as a result of injury, overuse, or osteoarthritis.

Generally, the cause of a real locked knee is the so-called “bucket handle” meniscus tears. With this, a large piece of fractured cartilage of the knee (called the meniscus) can meet within the joint, preventing normal movement.

Pseudo-Locked Knee

You may also have a locked knee if you have severe pain with any knee movement. A pseudo-locked knee injury occurs when severe pain in the knee causes the knee muscles to flex and contract. The knee is not physically locked but, however, is unable to move properly. A sprained knee brace is a self-defense mechanism designed to reduce knee movements so that no further damage can be done. There are many causes of the artificial locked knee, including:

  1. Severe tendonitis

  2. Acute attacks of gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

  3. Severe bursitis: Inflammation of the knee’s bursa, a fluid-filled pad that cushions the joint

State some Causes of knee locking:

1. Meniscus tear

Common Symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Knee pain on the inner or outer sides of the kneecap

  • Knee swelling

  • Sharp stabbing pain in knee comes and goes.

  • Knee catching, locking or giving way

  • Knee stiffness

Your knee has two pieces of cartilage, called the meniscus, which act as shock absorbers where the knee hits your thigh bone and shin bone. Because the meniscus becomes thinner and weaker with age, older people may tear it apart during normal activity.

However, Treatment of meniscus tears depends upon the injury, tears can heal on their own with rest, ice, elevation, and NSAIDs. In some cases, you may need to have arthroscopic surgery (with small incisions) followed by resuscitation.

2. Ligament injury

There are two tight ligaments called ligaments that fall between your knees to keep them in place. Another ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), attaches the thigh bone to the shin bone. It can stretch or tear with a direct tap on the knee or with sudden stops or pivoting.

However, Common symptoms include: Knee pain on the inner or outer sides of the kneecap Swelling of the knee, pain behind knee, knee locks or decreased movement or instability, or feeling like your knee is “giving way”.

Two additional lines, the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) and the MCL (medial collateral ligament) are on the sides of the knees. Treatment usually includes rest, ice, elevation, NSAIDs, compression wraps, and rejuvenation. Sometimes surgery is necessary.

3. Arthritis

Common Symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Pain in both knees

  • Knee stiffness, especially in the morning

  • Swollen knee

  • Knee locking or catching

  • Knee instability

However, Arthritis pain and inflammation in one or more of your joints. The CDC estimates that 23% of American adults have it. Any joint in your body can be affected by arthritis, but arthritis of the knee is more common. There are several types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, caused by aging and joint pain, is a very common condition. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune diseases that target the healthy tissues that cover your joints.

However, Your doctor can diagnose arthritis by examining the joint and sometimes using X-rays to look for damage. Treatment includes medication, cortisone (steroid) injections in the joints, and in severe cases, surgery instead of the knee.

4. Dislocated kneecap

Symptoms include:

  • Knee injury associated with a “pop”

  • Constant pain at the front of the knee

  • Knee locking or catching

  • Knee swelling

  • Difficulty with walking or inability to walk

The kneecap (patella) connects the muscles in front of your thigh with your shinbone bone. If your kneecap comes out of its ditch and breaks, it can cause your knee to lock. These injuries usually occur during sports, when your knee is sprained or twisted while your knee is bent.

5. Plica syndrome

Symptoms of plica syndrome include Knee pain, especially when going up and downstairs, knee flexion, knee locking or gripping, and swelling of the knee. Plica is small bars found in the muscle that connects your knee. They help keep your knee bent, but injury or overuse can lead to irritation and swelling. This causes pain and a feeling that the knee is locking or bending.

However, X-rays may not show plica syndrome (plica is a soft tissue that does not show), but a doctor may use X-rays to rule out other problems. Plica syndrome is usually best treated with NSAIDs, rest, and exercise that strengthens your leg muscles. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the damaged tissue.

6. Loose bone fragment

Symptoms include:

  • The sensation of “something” in your knee

  • You May be able to feel a bump through your skin

  • Knee pain

  • Swelling in Knee.

  • Stiffness in the knee.

  • Knee locking

In some cases, a portion of the bone in the knee may rupture. This may be due to an injury, such as a fall, but it may also be due to cartilage injury or degenerative joint disease. In some cases, you may not notice that you have a loose bone marrow until it causes symptoms. However, if a bone fragment causes your knee to lock, you will need arthroscopic surgery (using small holes) to remove it.

7. Patellar tracking disorder

Patellar Tracking Disorder is where the kneecap moves from where you bend and straighten your leg. It occurs when there is a problem with the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or cartilage holding the kneecap in its normal position.

Over time, these abnormal movements produce symptoms. If you have patellar tracking disease, you are at greater risk of kneecap dislocation. However, the most common symptoms of patellar tracking disorder include knee pain over the kneecap, sharp stabbing pain in knee that comes and goes, and Severe pain. when climbing stairs or getting up after sitting, knee locking or holding or kneeling, Knee stiffness or loosening

How to unlock knee?

The following information may additionally be helpful when thinking about treatment options for a locked knee. If your knee suddenly locks and does not open, get help and call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency department. If the key is locked and you are able to open it, call your doctor to discuss treatment options or to arrange a visit. However, The following information may be helpful when considering treatment options for a locked knee.

The work-up of a locked knee:

Locked knee function begins when your doctor asks you questions about any injuries that may be triggering your symptoms and the quality of your symptoms themselves. Your doctor will do an examination of your knee to give you clues about your injuries.

Your doctor will determine whether your locking is due to a true mechanical lock or pain-related (i.e. pseudo-locking — pain prevents movement).

Non-Surgical Treatment of a Locked Knee:

The first step in treating a locked knee is finding the cause of the lock. if knee pain is the cause of a locked knee, the goal of treatment will be to control pain and reduce inflammation. Rest, ice, pressure, height (RICE), and anti-inflammatory drugs are often first-line treatments.

  • Ice can be used in the form of a 20-minute closure to help control pain and reduce inflammation (if any). If the knee is swollen, height can also help. Raise the knee and leg over the pillow or pillow to stay above the heart rate.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen can also help reduce both pain and inflammation. If this does not work for you, your doctor may also prescribe powerful anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition to the above, physical therapy may be beneficial. You will learn exercises, stretching, and movements that will help improve your knee function, which can help reduce pain and swelling in the knee.

Surgical Treatment of a Locked Knee

If your knee is permanently closed due to a mechanical block, or you continue to lock the knee from time to time even after a non-surgical medical examination, arthroscopic surgery may be the next step in your treatment.

Knee arthroscopy is a very rare procedure that involves the insertion of a camera and special tools into the knee. It allows your orthopedic surgeon to see directly inside your knees. Finally, it can be used to deal with many problems within the knee.

Catogries: Blog | Knee Pain

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