Team Sports

Team sports, including football, rugby, netball, and basketball, usually involve rapid twisting movements of the knee. Knee injuries with these sports are unfortunately extremely common.

With large numbers of people taking part at all levels of ability – from elite professionals through to the occasional ‘weekend warrior’ – these sports cause a great number of knee injuries.

Common sports injuries that I see in my clinic include; simple sprains, complex ligament injuries, cartilage tears, and even broken bones. Early assessment and accurate diagnosis allows you to get the right treatment, a quicker recovery and ultimately a better outcome.

Early diagnosis and treatment of conditions like ligament tears can help prevent further damage in your knee and lessens the chance of you developing painful arthritis in the future.

Getting the right treatment from an expert can help speed up your return to the “field of play”, getting you back to the activities you enjoy.

Knee injuries can and do happen with these high-energy sports. The most common of these sports injuries include:

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain Or Tear

Simple sprains and minor tears can be managed non-surgically with the help of a physiotherapist. More major tears, however, should be treated with a knee brace (splint), which needs to be provided as soon as possible ideally 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 a serious ligament injury. It can cause your knee to become unstable, especially when twisting or changing direction (cutting). In the long term, it increases the risk of your knee wearing out early (osteoarthritis).

These injuries can be managed with physiotherapy alone or, by a combination of physiotherapy and ACL reconstruction surgery. Early advice from an expert such as 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 can tear when your 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 your knee.

Small tears can heal and the symptoms can settle down with time. If discomfort continues to limit your activities for over 4 to 6 weeks, then treatment including knee arthroscopy (simple keyhole surgery) may help speed up your recovery.

‘Locked’ knees, which cannot be fully straightened, require urgent assessment. Often, early surgery is advised to save the meniscus and to improve your range of movement.

Gareth Stables

Cheshire Orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Gareth Stables, is a fully UK trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee surgery. Gareth has the highest qualifications possible for an orthopaedic surgeon in the UK, FRCS (T&O), and is on the GMC specialist register for Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery.

Gareth specialises in; keyhole or knee arthroscopy surgery, ligament reconstruction surgery, knee osteotomy and knee replacement surgery. He has over 15 years of experience in the field having qualified with a commendation in 1998 from the University of Liverpool Medical School.

"My life was transformed and the pain almost negligible.... Now no painkillers or stick. I cannot thank my caring consultant enough. I will be ever grateful for his wisdom"

"Brilliant treatment from start! Had arthritis in knee joint.Was given injection and the effect was immediate! Brilliant. Would recommend to anyone. One of the most helpful doctors I have ever seen(and I`m 73 !!)"

"Mr Stables was very understanding, patient and thoroughly competent. I would recommend anyone to have knee replacements by him. The whole experience was worthwhile and very good for my quality of life."