How to Unlock a Locked Knee | Genuine Formula for 2022

Never underestimate your knee.  The knee allows you to stand up, walk, run, and climb stairs. Still, it supports your body weight.  Sadly, the knee is prone to injuries, especially if you are a sportsperson. Additionally, it degenerates with age. Injury and degeneration may lead to tearing of the meniscus or loose fragments within the knee joint. The result of this – the knee locks, i.e., the joint gets stuck.

A locked knee limits the range of motion. It is almost impossible to bend or extend your knee at this point. This article looks at the details of a locked knee, including how to unlock a locked knee.

Full Video Guide On How To Unlock A Locked Knee

What is a locked knee?

A locked knee simply implies a knee that is stuck in one position. You cannot bend or straighten it either due to pain or mechanical blocking. The locking may be temporary of it may be permanent.

The anatomy of the knee reveals it as a hinge joint. The arrangement of bones at the joints allows for bending up and down, as well as rotating. Anything that blocks the movement in any direction might lock the knee. It may or may not be painful.

There are two types of knee locking:

Pseudo Locked Knee: A pseudo knee locking occurs as a result of knee pain in your knee. Essentially, there is nothing in your knee that prevents you from moving your leg. Instead, it is a pain in the knee, triggering a muscle spasm and contraction.

The body uses it as a defense to discourage movement of the knee, which prevents further damage. The symptoms of having a pseudo knee locking include:

  • Inability to move the knee
  • Catching sensations
  • Brief locking sensations
  • Free or open sensations in the knee

A True Locked Knee: When you have a true locked knee, it means something is physically blocking your knee from extending or bending. So your knee remains in one position and cannot move it.

What Are The Causes Of A Locked Knee?

Below are the most common causes of knee locking:

A meniscus tear

The meniscus is C-shaped cartilage at the knee. It acts as a cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and the shinbone. Sadly, most knee injuries are due to a meniscus tear. A forceful twist or rotation tears this cartilage.

If a tear of the meniscus cartilage gets in the way, your knee may lock. You may notice that you have a torn meniscus when you:

  • Feel pooping sounds
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty straightening your foot a
  • Pain when rotating the foot.

Knee Pain

When your knee becomes suddenly painful, it locks. Medically, this is not an actual mechanical block. Instead, it is a limitation in motion secondary to severe pain. Your body does not want to cause you more pain.

  • Knee pain that limits motion is common in people having arthritis. However, there are other causes:
  • Knee trauma: Trauma to the knee may be due to infection, dislocation, tendon tear, sprain/strain, or a fracture.
  • Plica syndrome: inflammation or injury of the Plica membrane causes pain

Loose Bodies

You can also call them loose mice. Typically, they are small fragments of cartilage or bone in the knee joint. The particles can accumulate into a position within the knee, making the knee lock. Causes of loose bodies include trauma, chip fracture, foreign object from a past surgery, degenerative joint disease, torn cartilage, and decreased blood supply.

How to Unlock a Locked Knee

If your knee locks and sticks in that passion, I suggest you visit the nearest ER. Still, if you can unlock the knee, you must consult a doctor to discuss the way forward.

However, you can try the below tips to unlock your locked knee.

Home management tips

  • Rest: give your knee the rest it deserves, especially if you are a sportsperson. The minimum rest time should be 24 hours. If movement return to your knee, I recommend that you see a doctor to analyses the cause. It might be dislocated or broken kneecap.
  • Ice the knee: applying ice helps to reduce the painful swelling and inflammation. Apply ice for between 20and 30 minutes, after every 3 hours for the first 2 days of the injury. I suggest that you avoid applying heat pads unless your doctors say so; because it may escalate inflammation. However, if you have arthritis or the pain is recurring, you can use heat and cold therapy.
  • Elevate your knee: rest with your knee above your heart. You can place your foot on a stool when you sit. Alternatively, put some pillows under your heel and behind the knee when lying. Elevating your knee reduces fluid buildup, which reduces swelling.
  • Wrap the knee: you can use an elastic bandage. The bandage will compress your knee; thus, controlling the swelling that causes discomfort and pain. But do not wrap too tightly to hinder blood flow.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): these drugs relieve pain and swelling. They include Ibuprofen and Aleve. I suggest that you stick to the right dosage because they can cause undesirable side effects.

Visiting a Doctor

I suggest that you should visit a doctor early enough, especially if your knee locking is due to an injury. Doctors will give you the right advice right away.

In unclear cases, the doctor may recommend that you do an X-ray or MRI to determine the cause for your knee locking. With a precise diagnosis, the doctor can then prescribe the course of treatment.

Visit an orthopedic surgeon.

In case your injury is severe, you may visit an orthopedic surgeon. Surgery is usually the best option for the severely locked knee. Keep in mind; knee surgery is the last option. Before you choose a knee surgery, the doctor will assess the severity of your condition first. Nevertheless, when in doubt, I suggest you seek a second opinion.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is essential in helping you regain full range of motion. The therapist subjects to you’re a range of stretches to return your muscles to normalcy.


It is good that you know how to unlock a locked knee. We have given you enough. However, you need to prevent further injuries or circumstances that can lock your knee. You should not do any activity beyond your capacity, and after each exercise, rest enough. Above all, do not hesitate to see a doctor when you experience knee locking. participates in the Amazon Associates Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. This means that whenever you buy a product on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price.