Knee injuries

The knee is a complex joint with many components, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Knee injuries are common, especially when taking part in sport. Injuries to soft tissues, such as ligaments, cartilage and tendons, are the most common, although damage to the bones is also possible.

The knee ligaments help to keep your knee stable. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments are found on either side of your knee joint, and act to limit the amount it can move from side to side. It is more common to damage the medial collateral ligament by twisting your leg while it's straightened, for example, when being tackled in rugby.

The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments form a cross (cruciate) inside your knee. They help to keep your knee stable when the joint is moving backwards and forwards. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are one of the most serious types of knee injury and are common in contact sports such as football or rugby. We at the Hyndland Clinic specialise in pre and post op advice and treatment.

The meniscus in your knee, commonly referred to as 'cartilage' can also be injured playing a sport that involves twisting your upper leg while your foot is planted on the floor. As you get older, your meniscus may become slightly thinner or have micro tears (degenerates). This makes it more likely to tear after a very minor injury. If you use your knee a lot, for example if you run, you can irritate or tear the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your thigh muscle. This tendon is called the patella tendon and the condition is patella tendonitis, an overuse injury, common in running and tennis.

Bursitis is a common injury in occupations that may require a great deal of bending and kneeling such as joiners and plumbers. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions an area of friction between tissues, such as tendon and bone. Bursae reduce friction between moving parts of the body, such as in the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. Symptoms can include pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and/or swelling near the inflamed bursa. Pain may increase with activity or pressure.

Longer-term symptoms that point to knee problems will include pain and swelling in addition to other complaints. Inflammation in the joint may be caused by even minor activity and swelling may be intermittent, brought on by activity or due to an underlying cause such as arthritis, which can be due to 'wear and tear' or previous injury.

For specific advice on treatment and management of knee problems please contact our therapists.