Pain, swelling and stiffness are the common symptoms of any injury to the knee. If care is not taken during the initial phases of injury, it may lead to joint damage that may become irreparable.
Common causes of knee injury are:
- Fracture of femur (thigh bone), tibia and fibula (leg bones)
- Torn ligament (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)
- Dislocation of kneecap (patella)
- Torn quadriceps or hamstring muscles
- Patellar or quadricep tendon tear
If the pain and swelling is rapid, then urgent diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment is advised. Initial diagnosis includes physical examination followed by an X-ray.
Immediately following a knee injury and before being evaluated by a medical doctor, you should initiate the R.I.C.E. method of treatment:
Rest: Rest the knee, as more damage could result from putting pressure on the injury.
Ice: Ice packs applied to the injury will help diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. We do not recommend placing ice directly on the skin.
Compression: Wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage or compression stocking can help to reduce swelling and support your knee.
Elevation: Elevating the knee above your heart will also help reduce swelling and pain.
Conservative treatment may be recommended that includes taping, massage, mobilization techniques and stretching and strengthening exercises as well as exercises to improve your balance and agility.
In some cases, if pain is not responding to these measures, Dr. Fischer may recommend injection of corticosteroid or platelet rich plasma (PRP). More severe cases may be treated by surgery followed by a period of rehabilitation to strengthen the knee.