Sports Injuries & Knee Pain Can Destroy Your Game
Knee pain and sports injuries are devastating to the sportsmen, destroying their game and all the efforts spent in training are totally gone in that split second. Knee injuries and knee pain are the most common problems sportsman go through.
ACL Tear in the Knee
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear: ACL is the most important stabilising structure in the knee, especially in pivoting movements. Usually, the knee will be twisted wrongly and the patient will feel/ hear a “pop” sound, the knee would be swollen immediately and typically he can’t finish the game anymore. MRI scan of the knee would be the most accurate in diagnosing an ACL tear.
Treatment for ACL Tear
The initial treatment will be RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed as well followed by simple physiotherapy to restore the range of movement and the muscle strength. Surgical reconstruction is usually recommended for the patients who wish to return to sports, or else there will be residual instability and a high chance of recurrent injuries, and predispose the patient to accelerated post-traumatic arthritis.
Meniscus Tear in the Knee
Meniscus tear: the medial and lateral meniscus are important supporting and shock absorbing structures in the knee, and they can be injured in a similar mechanism like the ACL tear, and they can occur together with ACL quite frequently. Depending on the size and the severity of the tear, symptoms vary from recurrent swelling, persistent pain or locking. Locking occurs usually when there is a large meniscus tear (such as bucket handle tear), the fragmented meniscus gets trapped inside the knee joint preventing it from moving. The meniscus can be repaired arthroscopically (keyhole surgeries), however, the damaged fragment might have to be removed if it is not suitable for repair.
Chondral injury (ulcer)
Chondral injury, also known as cartilage injury of the knee can occur from sports injuries or trauma. Articular cartilage is a very important specialized structure that cushions and allows frictionless motion of the joint. With damage to this structure, the patient will experience persistent pain and swelling in the knee, especially with or after physical activities.
Surgical treatment may be required to repair the damaged cartilage in order to prevent or slow down the progression of cartilage loss which will result in osteoarthritis. Depending on the extent of damage, your surgeon may also use techniques to stimulate the growth of new cartilage.