Team sports, whether contact or ‘non-contact’, including football, rugby, basketball and netball, usually involve rapid twisting movements of the knee. Knee injuries with these sports are extremely common.
With large numbers of people taking part at all levels of ability – from elite professionals through to the occasional ‘weekend warrior’ – they produce the greatest number of knee injuries.
Common sports injuries include simple sprains to complex ligament and cartilage tears or fractures. Early assessment and accurate diagnosis allows for a quicker recovery and ultimately a better outcome.
Early diagnosis and treatment of conditions like ligament tears helps prevent further damage in the knee and lessens the chance of developing painful arthritis in the future.
Getting the right treatment from an expert such as My Knee Doc can also help speed up your return to the “field of play”, getting you back to the activities you enjoy.
All possible knee injuries can occur with these high-energy twisting sports. The most common of these sports injuries are:
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain or Tear
Simple sprains can be managed actively with the help of a physiotherapist. More major tears, however, should be treated with a knee brace (splint), which needs to be provided within a week of injury.
Most MCL injuries heal with bracing, and patients make an excellent recovery. Delays in diagnosis, however, can lead to an unstable knee, which sometimes will need knee ligament surgery, with less predictable results.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
A tear or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most serious ligament injury. It can cause the knee to become unstable, especially when twisting or changing direction (cutting). In the long term, it increases the risk of the knee wearing out early (osteoarthritis).
These injuries can be managed with physiotherapy alone or, as is the common practice, by a combination of physiotherapy and ACL reconstruction surgery. Early advice from My Knee Doc is important to make the best possible recovery and to avoid further injury.
Meniscal (Cartilage) Tears
The knee meniscus is often torn during twisting sports. The knee meniscus is torn when the foot gets caught on the ground whilst the body carries on twisting. The medial (inner) meniscus is more commonly torn. This can cause pain and sometimes locking and instability of the knee.
Small tears can heal and symptoms settle down. If discomfort continues to limit activities for over 4 to 6 weeks, then treatment including knee arthroscopy (simple keyhole surgery) may be advised.
‘Locked’ knees, which cannot be fully straightened, require urgent assessment within a week or two. Often, early surgery is advised to save the meniscus and/or to improve the range of movement.
Contact My Knee Doc today for a customised treatment plan for recovering from sports injuries.
Call 0161 4646399 today to arrange a consultation with Mr Gareth Stables.