Injured Playing a Sport? Knee Injury Treatment Options for Common Injuries

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knee injury treatment

If you’re an athlete, work in a physically demanding job, or live an active lifestyle and like to push yourself to get stronger, your joints and tendons have likely taken a beating.

As often as you try to strengthen the muscles around your joints to prevent injury, they still happen from time to time. Maybe you’re the kind of athlete who has played through a few too many injuries, as well.

It can be difficult to know what treatment is best for recovery. For knee injury treatment, there are several different options depending on the damage the knee has endured.

If you’re searching for the best course of action for your knee injury, keep reading. Soon enough you’ll be back out there and stronger than ever.

Knee Composition

Your joints are delicate intersections of your body that can get injured when bent or twisted in the wrong directions.

Your knee is the connecting element between your femur, otherwise known as your thighbone, and your tibia, otherwise known as your shinbone. The bone that sits in the middle is your patella, or what you know to be your kneecap.

While another joint, like your shoulder, has more rotating ability, your knee is somewhat limited in its range of motion. It only fully bends in one direction. While it can shift to the left and right, it is not fully stable unless it is tracking over your feet and ankles.

Common Knee Injuries

If you’re a runner, jumper, lifter, or play a sport that requires a lot of change of direction, your knees absorb a lot of pressure and force. This wear-and-tear makes your knees more prone to injury over time.

Fractures

The kneecap itself can be fractured if it undergoes an extreme fall or another hard impact.

Bone breaks and fractures to the tibia and femur close to the knee can also occur and cause their own set of complications for knee injury treatment.

Meniscal Tears

Tearing your meniscus is a fairly common knee injury, especially for athletes of any kind. The cartilage around the knee can be torn from irregular or forceful twisting and pivoting, or from overuse and old age.

Meniscal tears are one of the knee injuries where the recipient or surrounding spectators may hear the infamous pop from the knee as the cartilage breaks apart.

Tendon Tears

Tearing the patellar tendon around the knee is also a fairly common knee injury for athletes and active middle-aged people.

The tissue that connects the muscle to the bone can be overstretched or torn through overextension or even through a hard impact. These tendons can also be torn from jumping or landing incorrectly.

Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is characterized by inflammation of the tendon surrounding the kneecap. It is a common overuse injury for athletes.

The knee tendons can only endure so much strain and stretch before they become overworked and more susceptible to tears.

ACL Tears

The anterior cruciate ligament, or the ACL, is a stabilizing component that runs down the front of the knee. It is a frequent injury for athletes in high-speed sports like soccer, football, and basketball, which all require quick changes of direction and occasional jumping and landing.

ACL tears do not only plague young athletes. This ligament can also get torn over time as the knee undergoes aging and overuse.

Dislocations

Knee dislocations are a more rare form of a knee injury but can occur under a number of circumstances.

During motor vehicle crashes, falls, or sport-related impact, the bones that connect the knee together can slide out of place. The kneecap can be dislocated, or the femur or tibia can also become dislocated from sharp twists or blows.

Bursitis

Another kind of inflammation that can happen within the knee is a condition called bursitis. Small sacs of fluid sit between the bone and the ligaments and tendons to allow for smooth motion and sliding as the knee extends and contracts.

These sacs can become irritated and inflamed over time from overuse or from frequent kneeling.

While bursitis is often not as serious as a torn knee ligament or other knee injuries, it still requires care and attention to heal appropriately.

Knee Injury Treatment Options

The best treatment for a knee injury will vary greatly depending on the injury cause, as well as past trauma to the knee. Some of these treatments can easily be done at home, while others will require supervision or action from a professional such as a trained physical therapist or doctor.

RICE

The popular RICE treatment method: rest, ice, compress, and elevate, is a simple at-home routine for less severe knee injuries.

If you still have a somewhat normal range of motion in your knee and can make it through your day-to-day tasks, your knee injury may need a little extra rest, but there’s no need for any drastic measures to be taken.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be a great solution for strengthening the knee from small injuries such as overuse and light sprains. Plus, it will further inform you of the best movements to improve your weak or sprained knee.

Regenerative Medicine

Using plasma therapy, you can rebuild knee ligaments and tendons using your own body’s regenerative abilities.

This tissue regrowth method has the high potential for structure reformation that gets you back on your feet sooner rather than later. With regenerative medicine, you may also be able to avoid more invasive knee surgery.

Immobilization

Knee injuries caused by more severe trauma like car crashes or heavy impact sports collisions may require immobilization of the knee joint while it recovers and regrows essential tissue.

Immobilization can be done through a knee brace or splint. This method of recovery also gives the body time to reduce any considerable swelling, especially from the initial impact.

Surgery

Surgery is often recommended for certain critical tears and knee traumas, including ACL tears. The tissue and tendons that have been broken may require manual reattachment in order for the knee to recover as fully as possible.

Strengthen Your Knees

Your knees allow you to move, jump and run about in your everyday routines. Don’t let knee injuries prevent you from doing what you love.

Make sure you find the best knee injury treatment for you. Commit to healing and strengthening your knees, and you’ll be back out there soon.

For more guidance on sprains, strains, and other injuries, find more information on our blog.