Knee Injuries

The knee joint is one of the largest, strongest and most important joints in the human body. The knee joins the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). A small, thin and long bone that runs along the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are the other bones that sum up to make the knee joint. Bone surfaces of the knee are covered with smooth surface (cartilage). Ligaments are elastic ropes required to provide stability to the knee by joining the knee bones. Meniscus is a two, cushion like structures inside the knee joint, needed for stability, shock absorption and nutrition of the joint.
Knee joint helps in mobility and rotating movement. It acts as a hinge and allows the lower leg and foot to move back and forth flexibly while walking, bending and sitting. It enables great stability while standing up.

Common Knee Injuries and Conditions

As the knee joint is a weight bearing joint, it is prone to many injuries and diseases. However, knee joint problems can be prevented. The most common knee injuries are:

  • ACL injury (anterior cruciate ligament)
  • PCL injury (Posterior cruciate ligament)
  • Collateral ligament injury
  • Meniscal tears
  • Fracture & Dislocation

A few knee diseases are:

  • Osteoarthritis or Degenerative arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The knee joint is fragile and vulnerable to damage. Most of the injuries that occur are, while playing sports like cricket, baseball, football etc. Moreover, such injuries are also common during lifestyle injuries like two wheeler accident, slip from stairs etc. A sudden fall or twist in the knee joint can damage and injure the knee.

Symptoms

When knee joint is injured, the following symptoms are experienced.

  • Locking of the knee (घुटने का अटकना)
  • Knee instability (घटने में लचक आना)
  • Pain & Swelling
  • Knee Pain

Treatment

Minor Injury: In case of a mild tear in the ligament, slight meniscus tear-strengthening exercises are performed to treat the injury.

Major Injury: In case of major injuries like torn meniscus, torn or damaged ACL or PCL, swollen lining of the joint, a fracture in the knee bone etc, knee arthroscopy surgery is performed.
Knee Arthroscopy Surgery is a minimal invasive surgery in which the doctor makes a small incision through the skin to have a clear view of the knee joint. A small camera called the Arthroscope is inserted. The camera displays pictures on the monitor which helps the surgeon perform the surgery.
In sports, as people need to recover fast, most of the joint related sports injuries are treated by performing the knee arthroscopy surgery. Faster recovery with better results is observed in this surgery when compared to other open surgeries.

Immediate Treatment After Sports Injury

Follow the RICE protocol to relieve knee pain.

  • Rest and protect the injured area. Do not walk and strain your knee.
  • Ice can reduce swelling and therefore apply ice to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Compression dressings should be used to immobilize and support the injured knee.
  • Elevate the foot by reclining it up, above the waist for the first 48 hours.

Knee ligament tear is very common injury amongst sports persons and active population after twisting. It leads to ACL, PCL and Multi-ligament injuries.

- Sign and symptoms- Initial: Swelling | Painful movements | Inability to bear weight on affected limb.

- Prospective: Feel fear of falling | Difficulty in climbing stairs | Lack of confidence in knee | atrophy (thinning) of thigh muscles.

- Treatment- In cases of Partial tear, treatment with exercises and precautions & in cases of high grade tears Arthroscopic Surgical Reconstruction is mandatory.

Special at SportsMed - World's most reliable knee assessment system KT-1000- Most Advanced HD Endovision System, internationally trained surgical team, Specific Surgical planning for Sports person/Female Athletes/ Adolescent sports injuries/ Multiligament injuries, Proper post treatment care. For Stiff Knee and Loose Body For stiff knee, Arthroscopic Adheseolysis is the minimal invasive day care procedure to treat stiff knee and for removal of any loose piece in the knee, loose body removal is the solution.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritisis a degenerative joint disease caused due to aging. It is a chronic disorder that damages the tissues and cartilage surrounding the joint. This disease mostly affects the older people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of degenerative arthritis are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness in the joint

Treatment

The main aim of providing treatment for osteoarthritis knee is to relieve the person from pain and improve mobility.

Mild Stage

  • Treatment for mild pain includes weight loss. Reducing weight may result in decreasing the pain in the knees.
  • Strengthening exercises helps in strengthening the muscles and improves the stability of the joints, thereby reducing pain.
  • Painkillers such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Acetaminophen are recommended to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints.
  • Physiotherapy is another method opted to improve the flexibility and mobility in the knee joints.
  • Latest drugs which help for cartilage nutrition can be helpful in this stage.

Moderate Stage

  • Joint injections such as hyaluronic acid injection are given in the joint as it helps in lubrication.
  • Arthroscopic debridement & lavage is performed for better results. It helps in the removal of excess fluid or any loose bodies present in the knee joint with the help of a syringe.

Stem cell therapy is one of the recent advances in the treatment of osteoarthritis knee. The precursor stem cells can be obtained either from the blood, fat cells, bone marrow and many autogenous sources.
Injecting these cells inside the joint of an osteoarthritis knee and also in the area of the sports injury can cure mild to moderate disease.

Advanced Stage

  • In this stage, surgery is the only option. Replacement of the joint is recommended.

Prevention

  • Maintain good bone mass by following a healthy and nutritious diet. For e.g., consume foods rich in calcium and vitamin D such as milk products, yogurt, salmon and tuna, greens such as spinach and fortified foods such as oranges, cereals which are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • In case of knee injuries, do not avoid symptoms like instability, locking or continuous pain.
  • Low impact exercise like cycling, swimming, walking is always good for the knee when compared to treadmill and vigorous sports.
  • Regular muscle strengthening exercises are beneficial.
  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed, avoid squatting, and avoid strenuous activities which may damage your joints.

Points to Remember

  • Never massage or apply heat on the injured area.
  • Do not ignore symptoms like continuous pain, locking, instability, and weakness in the knee joint, consult a doctor immediately; else it may cause permanent damage to your joints.
  • Neither perform strenuous exercises nor live a sedentary life. Follow the above mentioned exercises.

Famous Personsonalities Who Injured Their Knee

  • Tiger Woods, an American professional golfer, underwent many knee surgeries during the year 2002 to 2008. In 2002, he underwent a surgery to remove the fluid around the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the left knee. In 2008, Woods had an arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage caused to the cartilage of the left knee. In the same year he also underwent a reconstructive surgery on the ACL in his left knee.
  • Saina Nehwal, an Indian badminton player underwent a knee surgery last year (2016) as she fractured her infra patellar spur and suffered severe anterior knee pain.
  • Mohammed Shami Ahmed, an Indian cricketer suffered a tear in the left knee during one of the tournaments in the year 2015 and underwent an arthroscopic corrective knee surgery.

Famous personalities who recovered from shoulder injury

Tiger Woods, an American professional golfer, underwent many knee surgeries during the year 2002 to 2008, including surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a reconstructive surgery on the ACL in his left knee.

Saina Nehwal, an Indian badminton player underwent a knee surgery last year (2016) as she fractured her infra patellar spur and suffered severe anterior knee pain.

Mohammed Shami Ahmed, an Indian cricketer suffered a tear in the left knee during one of the tournaments in the year 2015 and underwent an arthroscopic corrective knee surgery.