MSD Manual

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Congenital Knee Dislocation

By

Simeon A. Boyadjiev Boyd

, MD, University of California, Davis

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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The knee may be dislocated at birth.

Anterior knee dislocation with hyperextension is rare at birth but requires emergency treatment. It may occur with Larsen syndrome, which consists of multiple congenital dislocations (eg, elbows, hips, knees), clubfoot, and characteristic facies (eg, prominent forehead, depressed nasal bridge, wide-spaced eyes), or with arthrogryposis. The dislocation may be related to muscle imbalance (if myelodysplasia or arthrogryposis is present) or intrauterine positioning. Ipsilateral hip dislocation often coexists.

On examination the leg is extended and cannot be flexed more than a few degrees.

If the infant is otherwise normal, immediate treatment with daily passive flexion movements and splinting in flexion usually results in a functional knee.

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