Archive for the Knee injury Category
You may suddenly experience pain in one or both of your knees and be wondering why this may be. This article hopes to explain some of the common causes of knee pain and what to do about it. Most knee pain is due to overuse of the knee or sudden impact injuries to the knee area. The joint of the knee is susceptible to injury because the full weight of the body is applied to it day in and day out. Knee pain is also more common in overweight people due to the increased pressure excess weight causes the knees to hold.
Knee pain may just be due to a strain of the muscles, this means that tissue surrounding the knee joint has found itself in a stretched position that results in pain but not damaged. Recovery from strains injuries require rest until the pain goes away. Do not try to exercise through the pain as you may cause more damage and turn a minor strain into something more serious.
Knee pain can be avoided in future through proper stretching and warming up before exercise and managing exercise activity levels so that activity is gradually introduced over time. Suddenly jumping into a high volume intense exercise regime can cause previously immobile joints and ligaments to sprain easily.
Another common cause of knee pain is anterior pain syndrome. This is pain that occurs around the front of the knee. The causes of the pain are not well understood but rest and icepacks are effective methods to combat this type of knee pain. It is also believed this knee pain may be caused by muscular imbalances caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Bodyweight squats are a good exercise to do once recovered that will strengthen the knee and help you to avoid this type of pain in future.
Another cause of knee pain is known as menisci damage. The menisci are rubber like pads that sit between the upper and lower bones of the leg. When the menisci become damaged it causes painful rubbing between the bones. Operations may be required to repair the menisci.
Finally another common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Is a condition that describes the degradation of the joints resulting in pain. This is most common in the elderly. If you think that your pain is being caused by osteoarthritis then it is recommended that you speak to your GP.
Dislocated knee occurs when the knee is knocked out of position, this is usually the result of a hard impact to the knee that is enough to move the bone without actually fracturing it or breaking it. Often this can happen in contact sports when the foot is grounded and physical impact is made with another competitor this easily can happen in sports like rugby and football where physical contact and collision occurs and is a normal part of the game. The dislocated knee patella means that suddenly the knee can no longer move easily and mobility is heavily reduced and so everyday activities become troublesome and painful.
Dislocated knees can often pop-back into position by themselves but other times the knee has to be popped back into position by someone like a chiropractor. Gentle force is applied onto the kneecap pushing it back into place, repositioning can happen very quickly and relief can be instant.
If the kneecap often becomes dislocated surgery may be required to prevent constant relocation. Tendons will be realigned and tightened in order to stabilize the joint.
During the rehabilitation process it may be wise to wear a support brace in order to keep the knee from moving out of position.
After dislocation light exercise can be prescribed by a physiotherapist in order to aid rehabilitation and ensure a quick and full recovery. Cycling is a good activity for the knees due to its ability to stimulate blood flow and relax and contract the tendons and ligaments surrounding the knee. This all happens without the wearing away effects of high impact activity like running that can negatively affect the knees. It is advised to wear a support or guards on the knees to protect them during rehabilitation as cycling falls can lead to a worsening of any knee problems, especially on hard flat surfaces like roads.
Minor knee fractures are usually the result of limited impact falls onto the knee. For example you may have fallen from your bike but managed to steady yourself before hitting the ground thus reducing the impact or force applied to the knee. The result may be a small amount of swelling around the knee. As with all fractures to the knee we give the same advice that you should see a GP or physiotherapist in order to rule out serious knee injury complications. Minor fractures do not require surgery and can be healed over time with a dedicated rehabilitation plan.
Rehabilitation can be achieved through the limiting of physical activity. The knee can also be placed into a support or brace that will act to limit the mobility of the knee to allow the best chance of full recovery.
Nuova Health supply high quality neoprene adjustable knee supports to aid in rehabilitation. The ultra-soft neoprene is strong and comfy. The adjustable compression straps mean that you can choose the amount of compression that you need. We advise a fairly firm compression but not one that restricts blood flow to the afflicted area. Sometimes standard knee supports or braces can be too restricting therefore an adjustable one is needed to meet your individual requirements. If you are interested in these knee supports you can find them by going here.
Recovery can be aided by sitting with the knee on a raised platform. This should be done at least four times each day and aids with reducing swelling by drawing blood out of the area. Application of ice to the area for the first day can speed up recovery. This should be done every hour on the hour for a quarter of an hour. Removable braces or supports should be worn at all times and should only be removed for bathing. Bathing of the area is recommended to avoid infection. Also it is important to keep any dressings or braces and or supports clean and change them regularly to avoid bacterial infection entering the knee. Infection can complicate and prolong the recovery period.
Your physiotherapist may recommend mobility exercises to increase your range of motion. These can be done as soon as the brace is removed.
The timetable for recovery usually means that you begin working again in sedentary jobs after a week and 12 weeks for active jobs for example builders or labourers that require strength and mobility through the application of force upon the knee for example when squatting.
Sports may be resumed after 12 weeks or may need longer and up to 6 months, always ask your physiotherapist first before embarking upon sport again. Do not do any activity that increases pain in the knee area, if the knee isn’t fully recovered yet it may result in a worsening of the injury.
Patella fracture is often the result of a sudden high impact trauma onto the kneecap for instance the result of a fall. Open fractures may result due to the lack of surrounding tissue around the knee cap, open fractures are characterized by breakage of the skin, damage to tissue and sometimes in the worst case exposure of the bone to the elements.
Most common falls onto the knee will not result in a patella fracture as the bones are robust and are especially robust if you are young and are not suffering from osteoporosis or any affliction that causes weakening of the bones. However severe falls may cause fracture to the kneecap. Always seek treatment ASAP if you start hearing popping noises (where before there was none) and or if you feel the knee then giving out. Also seek treatment if you are suffering severe knee pain after the fall, if it cannot be moved and you begin limping or you notice swelling around the site of the injury. Swelling around the knee is the most common symptom of patella fracture. The swelling is a result of blood leaking from the ends of fractured bone and into the knee joint.
Early intervention is important to avoid complications later, if in doubt it is best to get your knee looked over by a professional for peace of mind.
Intervention and or treatment are usually dependent upon the extent of displacement or breakage of the bones in the fracture. If there is little displacement of the bones that surgery is not normally required and instead a brace is needed in order to keep the bone from moving whilst it is healing. Later on in the treatment program the brace will be removed and a support used to encourage added mobility whilst still limiting movement somewhat so as not to disturb the healing process. The support also acts to protect the knee joint area.
If surgery is required then an incision will need to be made in the knee, the broken misaligned parts of the bone are aligned correctly again using a mixture of methods ranging from metal rods to simpler surgical devices such as screws, wires and pins. Metal implants can be removed later on after the knee is healed if they cause discomfort.
After surgery recovery is similar to those that didn’t require surgery, the important thing to do is keep the knee in a brace that restricts movement as much as possible. Later on supports are used in order to gradually add mobility you can find ours by clicking here.
The patella or knee cap is the joint where the ends of the femur and tibia meet and this point of the knee is also one of the most common areas of the knee to become injured. Fractures around the knee cap are usually caused by a sudden impact to the area for example if you fall from height onto the knee.
It is advised that you visit your GP to seek medical advice and treatment regarding knee fractures. Most knee fractures will not require much more treatment than firm compression of the knee, elevation of the injured area in order to encourage blood flow from the area, rest and the application of ice. Firm compression of the area can be achieved through the use of adjustable knee supports. You can find the NuovaHealth range of knee supports by clicking here. However there can be complications relating to knee fracture injuries so it is important to see your GP to rule out any serious issues that need looking at and require extra medical treatment.
Complications can occur due to how serious the fall is which can impact the type of fracture caused, complications can also arise due to age with the elderly more likely to suffer severe injuries to the bone due to weakened bones.
The most common fracture is the stable fracture where bones do not become displaced and this is the easiest fracture to treat requiring standard physiotherapy such as compression.
The displaced fracture is where bones becomes displaced and is one of the forms of patellar fracture that may require surgery to repair. Due to the displacement of the bones, the joint may not be able to heal by itself without outside intervention in the form of surgery in order to realign the bones into the correct position. This is why it is important that you have your knee examined by a knee specialist as incorrect diagnosis can mean that after the healing process has finished your bones become fixed in a painful new misaligned position that causes permanent discomfort and loss of function in the knee.
The comminuted fracture is one of the more complicated forms of patellar fracture to repair. Complications arise due to the bones fracturing into different pieces and misalignment of the bones. Surgical intervention is required to restore adequate knee function but full knee recovery may not be possible depending on the severity of the fracture and how many pieces the bone has been broken into.
Open fractures are a combination of knee bone injury as well as an open wound in the surrounding tissue. Muscles and tendons may be weakened or injured and need repairing adding to the complications in getting your knee back into working order. There is also the added risk of infection due to the open wound. Severe open fractures are the absolute worst case scenarios for knee injuries and require a long time to heal.
The majority of runners during their running career will succumb to a knee injury (at least once if they are lucky). Many knee injuries can be a prevalent problem with knee pain coming back time after time this is because often ligaments and tissues in the knee can become permanently damaged and weakened and this is why knee supports are so appreciated in the running world.
Neoproene is a lightweight and stretchy material ideal for knee supports as they will adapt and shape according to your specific knee shape providing targeted compression and support exactly where you need it most. Neoproene braces and supports are the most worn and are sold by NuovaHealth. You can find them here.
Hinged braces offer rigid stabilized support to the knee. Hinged braces are designed to limit particular motion and movement in the knee and are often worn straight after knee surgery.
Knee straps are a lightweight, quick and effective way for runner to help elevate pain in their knee cap which can be brought on by injuries such as runners knee, tendinitis and Osgood Schlatter’s disease which runners commonly develop due to the high amount of stress and shock they put the tendons in their knees.
Knee straps go around the knee cap and through compression and support help to relieve painful symptoms and some can help to absorb shock and keep the knee positioned correctly reducing tightness and stress which may contribute to injury.
ACL knee injuries
An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury can cause your knees to be weakened and affected so the knee functions not how they used to or should do. You may find that your once injured knee is unstable and cannot support your weight as well this can also increase your risk of recurrence of injury as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament will not only be weakened and less flexible for stretching and twisting; the supporting knees will also be weakened through inactivity. This is why knee supports are so widely used after an injury. Orthotic supports are also used in sport to help prevent injury and to improve function and efficiency of the knee and leg.
Knee braces and supports worn for rehabilitation after ACL knee injury surgery has been shown to help improve function, flexibility and range of movement as well as preventing the injury reoccurring. It is thought that 87% of orthopaedic surgeons recommend knee braces after surgery. However it is really important to remember that you should not get back into playing sports too soon and that this is crucial in preventing reoccurring injury. Making sure that you only start playing again only when your injured knee can function 90% as good as your un-injured knee.
Many sport professionals will wear a knee support because of the improved proprioception (improved muscle and body part awareness and coordination) that the supports often help to give them. With better sense of the function, movement and positioning of the knees which in turn can help keep your knees and legs gain more stability as well as helping you stay aware of how and where your knee is positioned which can help to prevent injury from twisting and turning in a way that could cause damage which can cause not just ACL injuries but others types of knee injury too.
Better proprioception also helps you better understand your limits and how far you can push yourself stopping your from straining and overusing your ligaments in your knee.Knee supports aren’t just good for better overall awareness of your knees but also to help prevent tightness in your ligaments such as your anteriror cructiate ligament as well as your Illiotibial Band. Tightness in your ligaments can cause tension and increased friction making you more susceptible to overuse and straining and pulling these ligaments especially if you are playing sport where there will be sudden jolts, shocks and stretching and movement. Knee supports help through compression helping to correct bio-mechanical imbalances that may result in tension and this tightness in your ligaments. Knee supports and braces have also been proven to help correct form and function in people’s knee helping them to maintain good form and function of the knee which can drastically reduce risk of sprains, overuse injuries and damage to the knee.
Not only all of that but force applied to the ACL when wearing them is also reduced this considerably helping to minimize reoccurrence of ACL injuries on a weakened ACL.
Runners knee which shouldn’t be confused with Jumpers knee is an overuse injury of the outer part of the knee whereas Jumpers Knee affects mostly the Patella Tendon. Runners knee also known as Ilio Tibial Band Friction Syndrome mainly affects runners and cyclists. In cyclists it is the top cycling injury making up 25% of all cycling injuries. In runners it is thought to affect up to 10% of all professional runners.
Symptoms of Runners knee often include;
- Knee pain on the out part of the knee this pain may also resonate up into the thigh muscles and down into the shins.
- Pain will usually be worse when bending and putting pressure on the knees for instance in running or cycling.
- Inflammation may also be found around the knee joint as well.
The likelihood of overusing and therefore inflaming the lio Tibial Band can be increased if the band is tight when bending the knee. Runners knee is caused as the Ilio Tibial Band which connects the knee to the hip rubs and creates friction against the Lateral Epicondyle as you bend your knee and the Ilio Tibial Band which is in front of the Lateral Epicondyle when your leg is not bent then goes behind the Lateral Epicondyle, over usage of the knee through constant bending of the knee can cause this friction that is created through this action to cause inflammation.
Leg length discrepancy have been linked to Runners knee. Leg legnth discrepancy place more stress and tightness on the ligaments and tendons in knee and thigh than usual on the longer leg.
Your body has a defence through the Bursa sac located on your thigh to help prevent inflammation through providing fluid to both the lio Tibial Band and the Lateral Epicondyle keeping the tissues in your knees subtle and lubricated helping to prevent friction. However the Bursa’s ability to do this can also be compromised through constant bending of the knee if it becomes impinged between the lio Tibial Band and the Lateral Epicondyle.
Treatment may involve
- Wearing ice packs to bring down inflammation and to promote blood flow to the region.
- Physiotherapy helping to realign and correct alignment and bio mechanical issues that maybe causing the Jumpers knee to develop.
- Physiotherpahy may include knee and leg stretches, aids such as insoles, heel lifts (for correcting leg length discrepancies) and knee straps and supports may also be worn to help correct and realign the knee.
Correcting Biomechnical and postural imbalances can help to prevent runners knee as imbalances can affect things such as tightness of the Ilio Tibial Band which can contribute to extra strain on the and friction. Wearing a knee support can help to correct these imbalances and restore proper functionality of the knee.
Compression found in the knee support can also help to relive the painful symptoms too. Over pronation can also cause tightness of the leg tendons and has been linked to runners knee. Wearing a pair of running insoles that can help to correct pronation can really help.
Jumpers knee can either come in two different forms either Patella Tendinitis which is inflammation of the tendon through over usage or Patella Tendinopathy which is the gradual degeneration of the Patella Tendon within the knee through overuse and strain of the Patella Tendon resulting in the Patella Tendon beginning to start to wear away with small microscopic damage developing.
Jumpers knee is named as such due to the high number of athletic jumpers that suffer from it. Jumpers are more susceptible to developing this injury as jumping places a huge level of stress and pressure on the knee when the jumper springs up off the ground into the air and when landing the sudden shock can also cause further wear and tear which overtime wears away the Patella Tendon.
Sport and over usage of the knee isn’t all to blame for Patella Tendinitis and Tendinopathy as ageing can contribute to the weakening and the degeneration of the tendon this is due partly because as we age our ability to repair and replace damaged tissues cells is reduced. This can also affect the elasticity and strength in your tendon causing it to be more susceptible to damage.
- Inflammation as well as swelling found around the knee joint
- Pain which gets worse when bending and using the knee
- The Patella Tendon feels sensitive
- Stiffness and lack of mobility in the knee and leg
Jumpers Knee can often get worse that is why it is best to tackle the underlining cause as soon as possible.
If the knee is subjected to continuous excessive usage this can cause worsening of the damage to the tendon, as the damage continues and the tendon becomes weaker and weaker the symptoms will get worse too. Jumpers Knee is therefore very common in sport due to the high levels of strain and usage athletes put the knee under.
Continuous strain and usage of the knee can cause microscopic damage as well as inflammation of the patella tendon thus it is very important that your knees are sufficiently warmed up before exercise in order to reduce strain and damage to the knee and promote sufficient blood flow to the area reducing damage.
-Reducing the stress and shock on the patella tendon is a really good idea which can be achieved by wearing shock absorbing insoles
Maintaining good form whilst running or jumping can help limit possible injuries which can cause damage to the tendon.
It is always advised to let your knees fully recover after sustaining an injury to them especially when the injury involves damage to a tendon. Tendons often take a lot longer to fully heal than other parts of the body. Injury and damage to a tendon can also negatively affect its characteristics and bio mechanics which may take a while to restore.
If you go back to using your knees as normal after sustaining jumpers knee you run the risk of further damage to the tendon.
Fractures or breaks to the lower leg Fibula bone (the Fibula bone is found on the outer most part of your lower leg) can result from sudden traumas, falls or even through overuse. Symptoms of a broken or fractured Fibula bone often include;
- Pain on the damaged part of the leg
Protruding bones from a break may result in deformity of the lower leg. If you suspect that you have indeed broken your leg it is highly recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
In sport such as football it is fairly common to see instances of leg breaking on the field and this is due commonly to twisting of the leg whilst the foot is fixed to the ground or from a collision with another player. It is therefore highly recommend to take precautions when you are playing sports like football, precautions such as wearing shin guards to protect your Fibula bones from traumas, also stretching fully the feet, knees and legs before a game to improve Proprioception in your muscles helping to give you better muscle activation and awareness which can help you know where your legs are moving helping you to avoid awkward movement which may result in a compromising twist or turn that could potentially damage or break your bones.
With a closed fracture where bone fragments are quite close together an orthopaedic doctor will usually look to move the bones fragments closely together and then fix a plater cast around the broken leg so that your leg can connect the two bone fragments together and heal by itself. A plaster cast is needed to keep the bones in place and prevent deformity. The estimated time the plaster cast stays on for a broken leg such as this usually ranges from 13-16 weeks. However even after the cast has been removed pain may still be present and the leg muscles will have been weakened both by the injury and inactivity of the muscle groups of the leg causing instability in the leg and knees. Physiotherapy is therefore recommended to help re-strengthen the lower legs. Physiotherapy is also recommended to help correct mechanical, muscle and postural imbalances that may have resulted from the injury.
Resistance bands are excellent for helping you to keep your other unaffected muscles groups active and strong whilst you recover and also help to build fitness, balance and strength in your weakened lower leg once your broken leg has healed.