Common Knee injuries

A complex joint with many components, the knee is susceptible to a variety of injuries. Many of these injuries can be successfully treated with simple measures such as bracing and rehabilitation exercises, while others may require surgery.

Here, we cover the most common types of knee injuries and their typical treatments.

Fractures and Dislocations

Knee fractures and dislocations are also common injuries that require prompt medical attention. A fracture involves a break in one of the knee bones, such as the patella (kneecap), while a dislocation occurs when the bones in the knee are forced out of their normal alignment.

Treatment for fractures typically involves immobilising the knee with a cast or brace, and in severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to realign and stabilise the bones.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries (ACL)

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most well-known and serious knee injuries, often affecting athletes involved in high-intensity sports like football, basketball, and skiing. The ACL helps stabilise the knee by connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia).

ACL injuries typically occur when there is a sudden change in direction, rapid stops, or awkward landings from a jump. These movements can cause the ligament to stretch beyond its limit, resulting in a tear.

Symptoms of an ACL injury include a loud popping sound at the moment of injury, severe pain, swelling, and instability in the knee.

Treatment often involves ACL reconstruction surgery. During this procedure, Mr Woodward replaces the torn ligament with a graft, usually taken from the patient’s own hamstring. Usually a day case, surgery takes around 90 minutes to perform.

Post-surgery, patients undergo a rigorous rehabilitation programme to restore strength, stability, and mobility to the knee. This process can take several months, but with dedication and proper care, many patients can return to their previous level of activity.

Meniscal Tears

Meniscal tears are another common knee injury, frequently occurring in athletes but also affecting people of all ages. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the femur and tibia, helping to distribute weight and reduce friction during movement.

Meniscal tears can result from a sudden twist or turn of the knee, often during activities that involve pivoting or squatting. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and a feeling of the knee being locked or unable to move fully.

Treatment for meniscal tears depends on the severity and location of the tear. For minor tears, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with physical therapy, may be sufficient. However, in selected patients with suitable tears, the shock absorbers can be repaired with surgery.

Meniscal surgery can involve either repairing the torn meniscus or removing the damaged menisci (meniscectomy) to restore knee function. Rehabilitation post-surgery is crucial for regaining strength and mobility.

For more information about ACL surgery or meniscal tear surgery, schedule an appointment with Mr Shah Punwar. He will discuss with you a tailored treatment plan that will help you on your path to recovery.

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