Ligament injuries are common in sports and especially in those that involve twisting movements and sudden changes of direction such as football and rugby. The injuries, particularly collateral ligament sprains, can come from direct impact to the opposing side of the knee. They can cause considerable disability and time lost from sport.
Ligament injuries to the knee can occur to: –
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
Treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms and GP referral for further investigation may be sought. Other treatment options can include; frictions, exercise rehabilitation and biomechanical assessment
Meniscus Injury (Cartilage)
Meniscal injury can occur in athletes of various ages and ability. Meniscus tears can occur from forceful, sudden, internal rotation of the femur with the knee in a partially flexed and planted. Sports involving cutting movements therefore carry more risk of such injury. Lesions or small tears typically cause no immediate symptoms, although pain and limited range of movement are common in more serious injuries. Common complaints include a popping, catching/locking or giving way sensation.
Treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms and GP referral for further investigation may be sought. Other treatment options may include: exercise rehabilitation, muscle strengthening, flexibility and taping
This is a progressive disease that slowly wears away joint cartilage and is most likely to occur after middle age. However, the age onset it can vary between males and females. Sorry ladies it tends to affect you earlier.
Pain, stiffness, swelling, crepitus (creaking and cracking), heat are common symptoms as well as a giving way sensation and locking, similar to meniscus injury. The available movement at the knee might also diminish and the muscles surrounding the knee may become painful and weak. Changes in the weather, mostly cold weather, can aggravate symptoms and pain overnight is not uncommon.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis will often require GP referral for further investigation, however exercise rehabilitation focusing on strength of the muscles surrounding the knee and mobilisation can be useful whilst awaiting further investigation.
Patellofemoral syndrome (PFS)
This condition describes pain around the anterior (front) aspect of the knee from wearing of the cartilage under the knee cap (patella). It can affect athletes, manual labourers and adolescents (see Osgood Schlatters Syndrome). It is normally considered an overuse injury and is common in runners. Mal-tracking of the patella is also one of the most common causes of the condition.
Symptoms include, pain around the front of the knee when sitting with bent knees for prolonged periods. Squatting, climbing stairs and jumping activities can also become uncomfortable. Episodes of giving way or buckling are not uncommon, often leading individuals to think the injury could be to the cartilage (meniscus).
Treatment can include, taping, sports massage of tight structures, stretching, exercise rehabilitation
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