Learn about the disease, illness and/or condition Knee Injury and Meniscus Tears including: symptoms, causes, treatments, contraindications and conditions at ClusterMed.info.
Knee Injury and Meniscus Tears
|Knee Injury and Meniscus Tears|
Knee Injury and Meniscus Tears Information
Knee injury facts
How do health-care professionals diagnose a knee injury?
The diagnosis of a knee injury is made by a physician on the basis of history, physical examination, and sometimes the use of X-rays or MRIs.Depending on the how the knee was injured and whether or not there are accompanying medical issues, the doctor will perform specific tests involving bending or twisting the knee to test the stability of the ligaments and check for damage to the cartilage. Knee-bending tests done by your doctor are designed to isolate specifically which ligament or part of the cartilage has been damaged.Further testing with X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may be necessary to evaluate the extent of the injury and help determine treatment and prognosis. X-rays and CT scans are used to asses for bony injuries (fractures), and MRIs are used to evaluate soft-tissue damage (ligaments and cartilage).
Is it possible to prevent knee injuries?
Knee injuries can be prevented by taking steps to reduce the risks:
What are complications of knee injuries?
Knee injuries are rarely life-threatening, though severe injuries may be disabling. Some knee injuries lead to chronic, irreversible damage to the knee and may result in complications such as long-term dysfunction. Knee-joint dislocations can cause blood vessel injuries and can lead to severe disability.
What are home remedies for a knee injury?
Treatment for a knee injury depends on the part of the knee that is damaged and the extent of the damage.Some injuries such as simple strains or sprains are treated with home remedies such as RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Taking time off from sports and exercise may be enough for minor injuries to heal. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) may help treat the pain and inflammation from these minor injuries. Chronic knee injuries may respond to heat therapy.
What are knee injury symptoms and signs?
The symptoms and signs of knee injury are related to the type of injury and the part of the knee that was injured.The main symptoms of knee injury are as follows:
What are risk factors for a knee injury?
High-impact sports, including running, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, cycling, and others, can increase the risk of knee injury. Sports where shoes with cleats are worn and sharp, sudden changes in direction are made are common risks for knee injury. Exercise, such as high-impact cardiovascular activity or yoga, can also cause knee injury.The elderly may be at higher risk for knee injury due to falls and osteoporosis.Women may be at higher risk for particular knee injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and patella. This is due to the anatomy of a woman's hips and femur and the angle at which the knee is tilted. This can lead to chondromalacia patella (CMP), an inflammation or irritation of the underside of the patella.Being overweight can be a risk factor for knee injury, as excess weight puts more stress on the lower extremity joints.Overuse and overtraining, improper or insufficient training for a sport, or not properly rehabilitating acute injuries can also predispose a person to knee injuries.
What are the different types of knee injuries?
The knee is one of the most commonly injured parts of the body. Sports, falls, and motor-vehicle accidents account for the vast majority of injuries to the knee.The different types of injuries to the knee are defined by the affected anatomy of the knee and the mechanism by which it's injured.Knee sprains are injuries to the ligaments that hold the knee together. There are multiple ligaments that stabilize the knee and keep it in alignment. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) stabilize the knee in movement from front to back and cross each other in the middle of the knee joint. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) stabilize the knee so that the bones do not slide from side to side.Ligament sprains are graded by the amount of stretching or tearing of the ligament fibers and how much instability it causes as follows:
What causes a knee injury?
Most knee injuries are caused by an external force bending or twisting the knee in a manner that it was not anatomically designed for. The vast majority of knee injuries are from a twisting mechanism from falls, sports, or accidents. A twisted knee can cause damage to the ligaments and cartilage.High-force injuries such as sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents can disrupt multiple parts of the knee anatomy, causing multiple types of knee injuries.Bursitis can be caused by overuse, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, injuries from kneeling, infection, or gout.
What exercises are recommended, and what exercises should be avoided during rehabilitation for a knee injury?
During physical therapy for rehabilitation of a knee injury, the patient will be given specific exercises by the physical therapist in order to strengthen and stabilize the knee joint. These exercises include strengthening the front of the thigh (quadriceps), back of the thigh (hamstrings), calf, and hip. Consult your doctor and your physical therapist before starting any exercise program. Your physical therapist should insure you perform the exercises properly before doing them on your own.If you have any pain or discomfort while doing prescribed exercises, see your doctor or physical therapist.Some exercises your physical therapist may recommend include the following:
What is the medical treatment for a knee injury?
More serious knee injuries require medical care.Knee immobilization or splinting keeps the knee from moving and decreases the chance of further injury. Immobilizing the knee can help stabilize an injured knee that may not be stable due to torn ligaments. It also keeps the knee from moving to assist in resting the knee.Chronic knee injuries involving inflammation and bursitis may be treated with anti-inflammatories. Injections of cortisone (a steroid with powerful anti-inflammatory effects) may be helpful in these situations.More extensive injuries involving torn ligaments, instability of the knee joint, swelling, decreased range of motion, or fractures will require an orthopedic surgeon consultation. In the initial stages of these more extensive injuries, RICE therapy can still be used. Staying off the leg by using crutches or a wheelchair may be advised.Surgery may be indicated for tears of the ligaments or extensive damage to the menisci. Surgery may also be needed for fractures or dislocations of the knee. Some acute injuries such as those with high-force impact, or multiple parts of the knee damaged, may require emergency surgery.Most knee surgery can be done by arthroscopy, a procedure in which a camera is used and small punctures are made in the knee to insert instruments. Repairs can be done inside the knee without having the open the knee with a large incision. Most arthroscopic surgeries do not need to be done immediately after an acute injury. Some are delayed to allow for decreased inflammation.After surgery, or if surgery is not an option, physical therapy can be used to strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the knee. Physical therapy can also allow for better movement mechanics of the leg and the knee to help prevent future injury.
What is the prognosis of a knee injury?
The prognosis of a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury.Most minor knee injuries (strains, minor sprains) heal on their own with conservative treatment. The prognosis for these types of injures is good.Ligament or cartilage injuries that lead to dysfunction or instability of the knee may require surgery. These injuries generally respond well to surgery and patients can ultimately gain full or nearly full range of knee motion.
What is the recovery time for a knee injury?
The recovery time for a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. If the injury is significant enough to require surgery and/or physical therapy, the recovery time will be longer.Simple strains or sprains can last for one to two weeks. More extensive injuries requiring arthroscopic surgery may take one to three months to heal.Major traumatic injuries to the knee may take up to a year to heal.Following the doctor's instructions for rest, immobilization, staying off your feet, and avoiding exercise that aggravates the injuries will help speed recovery.Physical therapy can also speed recovery time. It is important to follow directions of your physical therapist to insure you are doing the exercises correctly and attaining the best results.Chronic knee injuries that do not require surgery may flare up from time to time. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections are used to provide temporary relief.
What specialists treat knee injuries?
A knee injury may first be examined and treated by a primary-care provider (PCP), such as a family practitioner, an internist, or a child's pediatrician. If you go to the emergency room for your knee injury, you will be seen by an emergency-medicine specialist.If the knee injury is severe, you may be referred to an orthopedist (a specialist in injuries of the musculoskeletal system) or an orthopedic surgeon. If your knee injury is related to sports, you may see a sports-medicine specialist.Other medical professionals who may be involved in treating your injured knee include physical therapists, occupational therapists, or other rehabilitation specialists.
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