Dealing With A Sporting Knee Injury

Dealing With A Sporting Knee Injury

As some of you know, my life was turned upside down with a knee injury, tore my ACL skiing. I also chose wrong surgeon, who ultimately destroyed my knee. It’s nine years later and I now need a complete knee replacement after three subsequent surgeries.

If you have been injured due to partaking in sport, whether it is a sudden injury or developed through overuse or just age, you need, at the least, physiotherapy to help you through the recovery process, ensuring pain is alleviated and you can get back to normal function as soon as possible. Some knee injuries may require surgery. Please do your research in any surgeon who will touch your knee.

Different knee sporting injuries

Sporting injuries that impact the knee vary dramatically, as they are exceptionally common in any sport that involves contact, pivoting, turning and twisting, with injuries including cartilage damage, tendon ruptures, anterior cruciate ligament ruptures, lateral ligament injuries, medial ligament injuries and much more. Because of this, an effective diagnosis is the most important step when it comes to any type of physiotherapy.

Cruciate ligament injury

What is a cruciate ligament injury? There are four major ligaments in the knee, and one of these is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which as the purpose of restricting excessive forward movement of the shin bone in relation to the thigh bone. When this ligament is injured, it can cause pain and have a detrimental impact on functionality, which is why treatment is a necessity.

There are many different causes of cruciate ligament injury, which is an injury that is common in sports in particular, soccer, netball, tennis and skiing all create an environment where the knee typically twists and jumps and leave the knee vulnerable to injury. Most anterior and posterior ligament conditions can arise as the result of a fall, or deceleration followed by cutting, which basically means your body would have decelerated and then changed direction in a sudden or sharp manner.

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, yet most people will actually hear the injury when it occurs, as a sudden pop can occur. When I fell, I didn’t hear a pop, but it just didn’t feel right and I couldn’t put weight on it. Aside from this, common symptoms include pain, knee instability and swelling, with the pains ranging from moderate to severe, but getting much worse if left untreated.

Physiotherapy for your knee injury  

When you book an appointment with a specialist physiotherapist, the first thing they will do is carry out a thorough assessment of your injury, so they can discover what is causing the problem and how severe it is. This is imperative to ensure they can put together the most effective treatment plan. You are advised to restrain from participating in any sports until you have had your physiotherapy appointment with an experienced specialist, who will then advise you when you will be able to return to your sport again.

If you need surgery for a ACL reconstruction, I personally recommend avoiding the LARS ligament totally, and using a donor ligament or allograft graft in place of repurposing a bit of your own hamstring tendon, as you won’t have sites to heal. Using natural tissue is safer and doesn’t come with the problems of associated with artificial ligaments.

Different treatments used  

There are many different treatments therapists will use to alleviate pain and ensure a return to normal function. Weight loss is also a big part of supporting the joThis includes, but is not limited to, massage, joint mobilisation, dry needling, electrotherapy, ice or heat application, and a wide assortment of exercises, including strengthening, flexibility and postural exercises. They will also provide you with a rehabilitation program to follow at home; it is vital that you adhere to this because self-care is just as important as your physiotherapy sessions.

Weight loss is also a big part of supporting the joint. One kilo overweight is the equivalent of four kilos of extra pressure on the joint.

Pain medication can be problematic, especially of the narcotic variety. Any pain medication with opioids can be habit forming or addictive, so the more physiotherapy exercises you can do or weight you can lose will help to avoid having to take this type of drug.

If exercise and therapy don’t help to alleviate mobility, balance or pain you may need to find a reputable surgeon to carry out minor repairs or clean out, or you may need a reconstruction and in severe cases such as mine, a total knee replacement.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea regarding what you need to do if you experience a knee injury through playing sports.


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