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Moving a patient with a knee injury


(I am an ADN currently enrolled in a BSN program. I am not practicing as of yet)

Good afternoon. I have been researching and I am unable to find the proper way to move the leg of a patient with a knee injury.

Pt is s/p MVA. XR reveals a lt patella fracture. If the knee has not been immobilized yet, what is the proper way to move the patient's leg? I remember being taught to place your hands under the leg, palms up, with one hand superior to and one hand inferior to the knee joint to support the knee while moving the leg. Someone corrected me and said the proper way was to lift from the ankle and move the leg. But to me, this would put the knee at risk for further damage and possibly hurt the patient more. What is the proper way to move the patient's leg once the knee is immobilized with a brace?

I am looking for experience, answers, and rationale please. Thank you in advance for your feedback :)


Has 7 years experience.

I agree with you. With my ortho pts, I always support above & below the joint to help stabilize it & keep in a neutral position. Lifting at the ankle will force the joint into extension. Once an immobilizer is on, it's not as much of an issue though I still feel like only lifting at the ankle may cause pulling/stretching posteriorly, possibly causing pain.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 8 years experience.

Agree with nu rn. I am and ortho nurse- above and below. toes to the ceiling/no torque on joint

~PedsRN~, BSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Pediatrics. Has 4 years experience.

I would have several people helping me. :) One to stabilize the foot and one to stabilize that knee for sure!