Knee health is important because they perform a crucial function in our body such as helping in movement like walking, jumping, running, and bending which lets us perform various activities. Moreover, knees bear the upper body weight, including the hips' weight, and distribute it evenly through the legs to ensure stability and maintain body balance while moving. Therefore, preventing knee injuries and providing proper attention to knee health is vital. Don't delay seeking expert care when you experience a knee injury. Immediately consult the knee injury doctor in Lahore as he will diagnose the issue, treat it, and guide you on taking preventive measures to avoid further deterioration.
In sports, healthy knees matter a lot because it involves running, jumping, squatting, kicking, sudden change in direction, etc. According to surgeons for sports injuries, sportsmen should have strong and stable knees to ensure optimal performance in the field.
Common damages treated by surgeons for sports injuries
Surgeons for sports injuries can address different kinds of knee sports injuries. Some of these are:
Anterior cruciate ligaments or ACL is considered the major ligaments in the knees. Sudden stops, direct impact, or abrupt changes in direction can tear ACL.
It's a C-shaped cartilage that cushions the knee joint. Meniscus tears are probable due to hyperflexion or sudden twisting beyond its limit.
This condition is also referred to as jumper's knee which is an injury due to overuse of the knee joint. It induces inflammation and pain in the patellar tendon which connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone. People involved in sports with repetitive jumping and landing are more at risk of developing this condition.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome
This condition involves pain in the front of the knee around the patella (kneecap). It can be caused by factors such as overuse, muscle imbalances, or misalignment of the patella within the femoral groove.
The MCL or medial collateral ligament is located on the inner side of the knee and can be sprained or torn due to a direct blow to the outside of the knee or from a twisting motion. It is a sports injury experience usually in contact sports.
The LCL or lateral collateral ligament is located on the outer side of the knee and can be injured when the knee is forced inward, such as during a blow to the inside of the knee or sudden changes in direction.
Patellar dislocation also known as subluxation is the partial or complete displacement of the patella from its anchored position. Multiple reasons are responsible for patellar dislocation such as a sudden change in direction, direct impact, or an underlying structural abnormality.
These are injuries to the articular cartilage and underlying bone that results from an acute traumatic event or repetitive stress on the knee joint, leading to localized pain and potential joint damage.
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between tendons, ligaments, and bones. Inflammation or irritation of the bursae can occur due to repetitive kneeling, direct trauma, or overuse.
Bones that make up the knee joint i.e. patella, femur, tibia, or fibula may crack or break due to forceful impact during sports.
Causes of knee sports injuries
The sports injury doctor and the knee injury doctor in Lahore held various factors responsible for knee sports injuries. Some common causes are:
- Impact or a direct hard blow
- Overuse or repetitive stress
- Quick and abrupt changes in movement or direction
- Landing with excessive force, in an awkward position, or with a misaligned knee.
- Insufficient warm-up or inadequate strength and conditioning of muscles
- Use of improper technique during sports or poor body mechanics.
- Weak or imbalanced muscles associated with knee joint
- Previous knee injury
- Anatomical abnormalities
- Knee osteoarthritis
The symptoms of knee sports injuries can vary depending on the specific injury and its severity. Here are some common symptoms associated with knee sports injuries:
- Severe to mild pain
- A feeling of instability and giving way in the knee
- Decreased range of motion.
- Joint locking or catching
- A clicking or popping sensation may be felt within the knee during movement.
- It becomes difficult to put weight on the leg with an injured knee.
- In some cases, bruising or discoloration around the knee may occur due to bleeding or hematoma formation within the joint or surrounding tissues.
Proper diagnosis and treatment should be sought from a knee injury doctor in Lahore or from surgeons for sports injuries to prevent the condition from worsening.
- The healthcare professional will inquire about the patient's symptoms, the mechanism of injury, and any relevant medical history that may contribute to the knee problem.
- The damaged knee joint is examined physically to look for visible symptoms such as tenderness, swelling, or any deformity. Joint range of motion and stability is also assessed.
- Internal examination is made through imaging tests which is important to rule out other reasons and know the extent of damage that occurs. This may include:
- X-rays to assess bone fractures, dislocations, or signs of bone degeneration.
- MRI to get detailed images of soft tissues surrounding the knee joint i.e. ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and meniscus.
- Ultrasound to examine soft tissue tears or abnormalities such as tendons or ligaments.
- CT scan to obtain more detailed images of bones and joints in case of complex fractures.
In some cases, additional tests may be recommended to evaluate the damage that occurs to specific structures within the knee joint. This may include arthroscopy which is a minimally invasive technique used to diagnose as well as surgically repair internal joint issues. Stress tests may be conceived by applying specific forces or movements to the knee to check the joint stability and damage that occur to the joint capsule and ligaments.
Possible cure suggested by surgeons for sports injuries
An accurate diagnosis is substantial to develop the most suitable treatment plan. Surgeons for sports injuries may utilize a combination of treatment methods to cure the issue. Some common treatment methods include:
Non-surgical treatment plan
- RICE therapy i.e. rest, ice, compression, and elevation to manage swelling and pain.
- Physical therapy, which includes strengthening exercises for muscles, restoration of joint function, and regaining lost range of motion.
- Medicinal treatment includes painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to lessen pain.
- Bracing to support and provide stability to the knee joint.
- Injection therapy by which painkiller is injected directly into the joint for fast relief.
- Arthroscopic surgery
A minimally invasive procedure that uses a tiny camera with a light (arthroscope) and specialized surgical instruments to repair or reconstruct damaged ligaments (e.g., ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) or meniscus tears through small cuts.
- Cartilage restoration
Techniques like microfracture, cartilage transplantation, or autologous chondrocyte implantation to repair or regenerate damaged articular cartilage.
Realignment surgery to correct bone alignment and relieve pressure on specific areas of the knee joint.
- Joint replacement
In case when damage is severe enough that the joint cannot be repaired through other procedures knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint that imitates the motion of a natural joint.
- Patellar stabilization procedure
The procedure such as lateral release, tibial tubercle osteotomy, or medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction is conceived to address patellar instability or dislocation.
A rehabilitation program is tailored to ensure a safe and successful return of an athlete to sports activities. Surgeons for sports injuries will assess the case keenly and recommend the most suitable treatment plan for optimal recovery.
According to surgeons for sports injuries, factors such as age, fitness level, and technical proficiency can influence the likelihood of knee sports injuries. Employing proper training techniques, maintaining appropriate conditioning, using protective gear, and practicing good sportsmanship can help reduce the risk of knee injuries during sports activities.
- What types of knee damage can be treated by surgeons specializing in sports injuries?
Surgeons specializing in sports injuries can treat a wide range of knee damages, including ACL tears, meniscal tears, ligament sprains or tears (MCL, LCL), patellar tendon injuries, patellofemoral instability, cartilage injuries, and fractures.
- What are the common signs and symptoms of knee injuries that may require surgical repair?
Common signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for surgical repair include severe pain, swelling, instability, inability to bear weight, and restricted range of motion. Surgical treatment is needed when other methods fail to provide a cure.
- How do surgeons diagnose knee damage?
Surgeons conduct physical examinations, explore medical history, perform imaging tests (such as MRI, X-rays), and sometimes arthroscopy to diagnose knee damage and assess the severity. Proper diagnosis is significant to develop a good treatment plan.
- What preventive measures can athletes take to prevent sports injuries?
Athletes can take preventive measures such as proper warm-up and cool-down routines, using appropriate protective gear, maintaining strength and flexibility, practicing proper techniques, and listening to their bodies by avoiding overtraining and resting when needed.