Common Knee Injuries
Knee pain commonly occurs in people at some point in life. It is not the preserve of the sporting elite, in fact, frequently affecting people with ‘normal’ lifestyles and activity levels.
The location of pain associated with injuries of the knee can vary, depending on the cause. There is a surprisingly large number of components, that have to work seamlessly together to allow for normal pain free function of the knee joint.
Some conditions are typically seen in people of certain ages, while others are frequently associated with specific sports injuries or traumatic incidents. Abnormal or repetitive strain on the joint can also result in knee pain.
The degree of pain experienced with knee problems can vary from mild irritation to severely debilitating, causing people to consider knee joint replacement.
How can we help you?
Physiotherapy can be very beneficial in the treatment of knee problems. Our experienced physiotherapists will thoroughly assess you and diagnose the potential cause of your knee pain. They will create a bespoke treatment plan specific to your needs. Part of this will be advice on how and when to incorporate rehabilitation exercise and massage into your recovery plan and when to increase your level of exercise and loading to ensure you make good progress. Treatments will include:
- Reduction of pain, by reducing inflammation, using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, and joint mobilisations, myofascial, muscle and soft tissue release to restore normal movement of both the knee, feet and pelvis
- Retrain knee movement, to prevent abnormal movement. This is done by retraining your posture, associated muscles and movement patterns to prevent recurrence of your symptoms.
- Knee rehab classes, run by one of our specialist physiotherapists and our fully qualified personal trainer. These classes are an essential element of both ‘Prehab’ before any surgery and ‘Rehab’ after injury or surgery. Click here for more information
- Orthotics. If the cause of your knee pain is related to imbalances in your feet, our experienced physiotherapists are able to assess and treat you as necessary. This may include fitting of orthotics to address any imbalances or onward referral if necessary.
Pre and Post surgery support
- If your diagnosis is likely to require surgical intervention, or you have a persistent problem, we will recommend onward referral to a doctor or consultant (both private and NHS). In these cases, we will liase closely with your GP and consultant orthopaedic specialist.
- ‘Prehab’. If you are waiting for surgery, even if you are waiting for a total knee replacement, there are still many ongoing treatments such as use of a ‘muscle stimulator’, passive exercise regimes and certain types of massage that we can advise you on. This will ensure your knee and associated supporting muscles are in optimal condition to speed up early recovery from surgery.
- Knee braces. We are one of only a handful of centres in the west country trained in the fitting of ‘Donjoy’ Knee braces. These are one of the market leading knee braces and have many different designs of brace to allow for different levels of support and activity. Appropriate for pre and post surgery, as well as helping maintain normal life activities.
Long term management of chronic knee pain.
At our Lamerton clinic, we offer :
- Knee rehab classes. Even for long term problems, the importance and benefit of maintaining your muscle strength and proprioception (control) of your knee is vital.
- Phyio led pilates classes. An very good way to build core strength which in turn helps give you the ability to control your limb movement better.
- Group acupuncture for OA (Osteoarthritis) knee pain, helping you to afford longer term treatment sessions.
- Massage therapy, to help reduce the fluid swelling in the tissue around the knee and improve range of motion.
Click here for information about pilates and knee classes.
Common causes of knee pain
Knee pain can arise directly as a result of loss of integrity of the joint and supporting structures or develop subsequent to problems elsewhere in the body, such as your back, hips or feet. This results on abnormal pressure on the knee joint. Some knee injuries we frequently encounter include:
Ligaments damage or rupture – The knee is stabilised by four main ligaments. These help to limit excessive movement of the joint. Two are located in the middle of the knee joint, the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. They are part of the system that limits forward and backwards movement. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments sit either side of the knee limiting sideways movement. Trauma to these ligaments can occur if the knee joint is over stressed in certain directions, which can result in them tearing or completely rupturing.
Torn or worn meniscus – The meniscus is a crescent-shaped wedge of cartilage located either side of the knee, which act as shock absorbers. Damage to either of the menisci can occur as a result of certain injuries – for example if the knee is twisted when the foot is fixed on the ground, such as when playing football or just from long-term over-use.
Patellar tendinopathy – This results from damage to the strong tendinous connective tissue which attaches the quadriceps (thigh) muscle to the tibia (shin bone). Repetitive jumping strains the patella tendon, becoming an accumulative injury, which can cause patellar tendinopathy.
Chondromalacia patellae – Caused by deterioration or breakdown of the cartilage under the kneecap. Often a result of an imbalance at the hip or foot.
Arthritis – Symptoms usually include swelling, stiffness and knee pain as you flex and extend your knee. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause this.
Iliotibial band friction syndrome – caused by a band of fibrous tissue, the iliotibial band (ITB) rubbing over structures on the side of the knee, often a result of imbalances at the hip or foot. The ITB runs down the outside of the thigh, from hip to below the knee joint.
Apophysitis – sometimes referred to as ‘growing pains’. Generally found in active and/or rapidly growing adolescents. It caused by an inflammation of the bone where major tendons attach. This term includes conditions such as ‘Osgood Schlatters disease’ and ‘Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease’.
Baker's Cyst – caused by the collection of fluid in the back of the knee.