3 best treatment to unlocked a locked knee? Causes, Symptoms

You try to move your leg and may snap or catch or have a buckling sensation when you are standing, it may be because your knee got locked. It can be because of the frequent use of your knee in everyday activities like standing, walking, running, or climbing stairs.

Fortunately, with the right care, you can recover fully. You should stop all activities and give your knee some rest. Elevate your knee above your heart and begin to instantly ice it. Take NSAIDs to lessen discomfort and swelling. To prevent any further damage to the bone, it is best to seek the advice of an orthopedic doctor as soon as you experience extreme pain.


A locked knee feels as though it has suddenly been jammed or fixed in a particular posture. It is impossible to bend or straighten the injured knee. Bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments make up the knee joint. Knee locking and instability can result from damage to any of these components. However, the meniscus, which is the cartilage-containing portion of the knee, is the most likely the real reason behind it.


1- True knee locking

When you can’t straighten your knee for a while, that is “true knee locking.” Usually, knee bone or cartilage injury is the reason for it.

2 Pseudo knee locking

Pain can trigger a transient muscle spasm and “pseudo knee locking,” which is when the knee locks up. This is frequently caused by damage to the region around your knee.


locked knee picture


A sense of instability in the knees

  • Pain when extending the knee
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Swelling in and around the affected knee
  • A sensation of catching
  • And difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, leaping and sprinting.


The locking of knee joints can be caused by damage to any of the bones, ligaments, cartilage, or tendons that make up the knee.

Musculoskeletal Causes: A locked knee may be caused by a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Some of the main causes are wear and strain, inflammation, muscle and tendon injury, ligament damage, cartilage damage, and trauma. The locking of the knees can also be brought on by an infection or autoimmune disorder.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD): a joint disorder that develops when there is insufficient blood flow in the ends of bones, beneath the protective cartilage. These layers of bone begin to erode, causing them to detach from the main bone and carry away the cartilage in the process. Teenagers and children are particularly prone to this illness.

A meniscus injury: Two menisci, or bits of cartilage, act as stress absorbers in the knees. They are situated between the lower end of the thighbone and the top of the shinbone. When a meniscus tears in the knee, it is commonly referred to as “torn cartilage.” In older individuals, the cartilage deteriorates and thins with age, causing the meniscus

Do You Know?

Your chance of developing knee arthritis rises if you lose a meniscus.20 years from now by a factor of 15 (a 1500% greater risk).

Patellar Subluxation: Repeated kneecap dislocation, also known as patellar subluxation, refers to the kneecap’s ongoing instability, which causes anterior knee pain, typically lateral.

Knee Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, which affects the knee, is brought on by joint inflammation. Swelling, stiffness, and pain are the three most prevalent signs of arthritis. While osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, it is particularly prevalent in the knees.

Loose bodies: Osteoarthritis frequently results in loose bodies. When unstable cartilage fragments are knocked loose during knee motion and become floating inside the knee joint, this occurs. Sometimes the loose bodies become jammed or caught in the moving surfaces of the knee joint, causing symptoms of locking. They may not be producing any symptoms when they are moved toward the back of the knee joint, though.


  • Usually, a thorough physical examination can tell if you have a true-locked knee or a pseudo-locked knee. This entails a study of your medical background and the incidents that preceded the problem.
  • The knee is frequently subjected to X-ray orders. It can demonstrate the presence of fractures, loose bones, or acute joint swelling.
  • An MRI scan will frequently reveal meniscus tears.
  • C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and rheumatoid factor (RF) blood tests can be requested to measure markers for these disorders if a doctor suspects an infection or an autoimmune disease (i.e., one in which the immune system unintentionally assaults healthy cells).


The underlying reason and the degree of the problem both influence how to treat a locked knee. Both locked and pseudo-locked knees can be treated using normal techniques.

Fortunately, with the right care, most patients can fully recover.

1- Locked Knee

A local anesthetic may occasionally be injected into the knee by your healthcare practitioner to reduce pain and move the obstruction. However, arthroscopic knee surgery will likely be required to remove the cartilage or meniscus that is the source of the issue. For the surgeon to see the damaged area and finish the removal, this requires a few little incisions and the use of a camera to see inside the knee.

2- Pseudo-Locked Knee

Pain management is necessary if it is what is preventing motion. Typically, this entails non-invasive procedures including cold packs, rest, and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  If following these straightforward instructions does not help,

Getting a cortisone shot or local anesthetic injection can help ease the agony to the point where you are able to flex the joint once more.

3- Loose body in the knee

A person may need surgery to have a loose fragment of bone or cartilage that is causing the knee to lock removed.


Strengthening yourself can assist stabilize your knee and help you stay injury-free in the future. Ask your fitness professional for some leg-building activities. Once you’ve established an exercise routine, follow it. Your knees will be grateful.


Stop all activity and rest your knee: If you hurt your knee while participating in a sporting event or another activity, cease right away and give the knee joint some rest. If your knee still has some range of motion, ask a friend to assist you in moving to the closest, safest location to sit and rest there for as long as you can.

Ice the knee immediately: As soon as possible, apply ice to the knee to help with swelling and pain reduction. The ice should ideally be left on for 30 minutes at a time. After the injury, you can apply ice to the locked knee every three to four hours for two to three days.

Elevate your knee above your heart:  Additionally, keeping the knee elevated will assist in minimizing swelling and restrict knee use. You can accomplish this by lying down and putting a few pillows beneath your heel and knee. Your knee should remain elevated out in front of you by being propped up on a nearby chair or stool if you need to sit up or find it more comfortable to do so.

To reduce discomfort and swelling, take NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as Aleve, which is also known as naproxen, and Advil and Motrin, which are both generic names for ibuprofen, assist in reducing swelling and controlling pain. To

determine the dosage levels that are right for you, follow the instructions on the container. These medications can have negative side effects, such as an increased risk of bleeding or the development of ulcers, therefore you should only use them when necessary.


Never should a locked knee be accepted as normal. It is in your best interest to have it looked at even if it is only temporary and goes away soon without treatment.

The occurrence can be a sign of a more serious issue that needs to be addressed.

Frequently asked questions ( UNLOCK A LOCKED KNEE )

Is a locked knee permanent?

Structures around the damaged knee will constrict once it is held in a chronically locked position, which will cause flexion deformity. If the locking is not fixed, this deformity will remain

How long does a locked knee last?

A locked knee could remain locked for several seconds or even longer. Everything relies on the root cause. Locked knees can be of two different types: Authentic Knee Locking and True locking at the knee occurs when the knee becomes physically immobile for an extended amount of time.

Does knee locking require surgery?

Surgery is typically suggested if the knee is chronically locked or if there is continuous intermittent locking. When a major meniscus tear, bone fragment, or knee mice becomes lodged in the joint, surgery is usually performed to treat knee locking.