It is everyone’s joy to enjoy life to the maximum without any pain or suffering. This may not be possible always since accidents happen that leave one in a lot of pain and discomfort.
Knee injuries are common, and they vary from one person to another. There are several factors which may cause knee injuries.
Kids may hurt themselves as they play and jump about; while seniors may suffer knee injuries due to their age, which puts them at risk of knee injuries. Some conditions such as arthritis are risk factors for knee injuries.
Prevailing Knee Injuries
Knee injuries result from dislocations or fractures of bones or twisting or sprain of ligaments, tendons or any other part of the knee. The pain is quite severe, but it varies depending on the part that is injured.
Common areas that are injured include;
The primary knee injuries affect different parts of the knee, however, there’re are characterized by similar signs and symptoms, which are; pain, stiffness, swelling, weakness and instability due to reduced balance resulting from injury to one or both knees. The conditions include;
Ones affecting the ligaments:
- Anterior cruciate ligament rupture,
- Osgood, affects the patella ligaments,
- Posterior cruciate ligament tear,
- Lateral collateral ligament injury.
These usually occur due to sport related activities or undertaking quite involving activities or placing undue pressure on the knee. Car crashes may cause such injuries.
Patella fractures are also common, mostly causing:
- Broken knee cap,
- Patella tendonitis and
- Patella tendinopathy
These may result from falls from a high place, or while sporting, falling heavily and dislocating or fracturing the patella altogether. Jumpers may also suffer the condition as well.
Other conditions that are associated with knee pain and injuries:
- Knee arthritis,
- Ilio tibial brand friction syndrome, common to cyclist and runners,
- Anterior knee pain,
- The meniscus tear and
- Loose bone fragments in the knee joint
This injuries may occur to anyone, by virtue of the activities they undertake, persons actively involved in sports may suffer most from ligament and patella injuries. While meniscal tears may affect the seniors as well. Care should be taken in every activity undertake so as to minimize chances of injury.
Signs and Symptoms of Knee Injuries
The main signs and symptoms of knee injuries include:
- Immediate signs or pain out of nowhere
- Inability to fully stretch the knee or even partially move it, more so after injury
- A cracking sound felt at the knee during injury
- The skin near the injured part feels warm to touch
- Severe pain
Signs that may be experienced later after injury
- Visible swelling and redness of the injured area
- Persistent pain
- Inability to stand or freely move, at times, not even bale to support yourself on the foot
- Falling off when attempting to stand
- Malformation of the area above the injury
- When to seek medical help
- Seek medical attention immediately, more so when you experience the following signs;
- Hear a cracking sound at the knee area
- You cannot move your foot, due to knee injury
- You experience severe pain
- Begin limping or
- The injured part swells
Treatment of Knee Injuries
Upon realization that you are injured, it’s necessary to seek medical help. However, before getting to a doctor, first aid measures may be taken to minimize the pain and prevent the severity of the injury.
- Take a rest and avoid any movement, more so those involving the knee. Ask someone for help if you need to get anything that is not within your reach.
- Ice the injured part,
- Gently compress the area,
- Elevate the knee, try straitening it a bit
- However, you should be careful to avoid causing more harm to the injured part and worsening the state of the injury.
On reaching the hospital, the doctor will examine you and recommend the best treatment. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury, the age of the patient, their level of activity as well as their general health. A doctor could recommend rest or minimal mobility, anti-inflammatory medication, or physical therapy, however, whichever treatment is recommended be sure to fully adhere to it to regain your energy and strength once again. In case of serious injury, surgical treatment may be recommended.
Knee Injury Risk Factors
Excess body weight exerts pressure on the knees, more so when undertaking various activities, e.g. climbing stairs, this stresses the knee joints, and with time, injuries may result. Proper diet, as well as exercises, could help you rid the excess weight.
Reduced Muscle Flexibility
This causes stiffness when walking or when undertaking any activity that involves the knees. The muscles offer less support to the knee, making it hard to absorb stress and eventually lead to a lot of impact on the joints.
Previous Injury May Pose a Risk of Re-Occurrence
Some sports such as soccer and basketball that require a lot of activity of the legs hence putting much pressure on the knees.
Knee injuries can be prevented, by being careful, getting informed about the risk factors to avoid and being safe. It will help you avoid the pain that comes with a knee injury. On injury, however, don’t hesitate to seek help.