Knee Ligament Injuries

Understanding Knee Ligament Injuries: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment at Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic

Knee ligament injuries are among the most common sports injuries, affecting the four key ligaments that stabilise and control the knee joint:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): Prevents excessive forward movement of the shin bone (tibia) relative to the thigh bone (femur).

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): Prevents excessive backward movement of the tibia relative to the femur.

Medial collateral ligament (MCL): Prevents the knee from caving inward.

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL): Prevents the knee from caving outward.

These injuries can range from mild sprains to complete tears, impacting the stability and range of motion of the knee.

Causes of Knee Ligament Injuries

Sudden changes in direction: This can put stress on the ligaments and cause them to tear.
Direct impact: A blow to the knee, such as from a fall or collision, can damage the ligaments.
Overuse: Over training or participating in activities that put repetitive stress on the knee can lead to ligament injuries over time.

Symptoms of Knee Ligament Injuries

Pain: The pain can be severe and may increase with movement.
Swelling: The knee may swell significantly within hours of the injury.
Instability: The knee may feel loose or wobbly.
Difficulty bearing weight: It may be difficult or impossible to put weight on the injured leg.
Restricted knee range of motion: The ability to bend and straighten the knee may be limited.

Treatment for Knee Ligament Injuries at Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic

The appropriate treatment approach for a knee ligament injury depends on the severity of the injury and individual factors like age, activity level, and overall health.

Conservative Treatment

Anti-inflammatory medication: Medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and swelling.
Rest: Limiting activity helps reduce stress on the injured ligament and promote healing.
Immobilisation: A brace or splint may be used to immobilise the knee and prevent further injury.
Physiotherapy: At Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic, our skilled physiotherapists guide patients through exercises to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and proprioception (awareness of body position).
Ice and compression: Applying ice to the injured area can reduce pain and swelling. Compression bandages can also help reduce swelling and support the injured ligament.

 

Surgical Treatment

Surgery may be recommended for severe ligament tears, especially if the injury significantly compromises knee stability. Common surgical procedures include:
Ligament reconstruction: This surgery involves replacing the damaged ligament with a graft from another part of the body or a synthetic material.
Meniscus repair: The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. A torn meniscus can sometimes be repaired surgically.

Role of Physiotherapists in Knee Ligament Injuries at Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic

Physiotherapists at Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic play a crucial role in managing knee ligament injuries, both pre- and post-operatively. Our team can:

Assess the severity of the injury: This helps us determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Manage pain and swelling: We use various hands-on techniques, such as massage and modalities, to reduce pain and swelling.
Develop a rehabilitation program: We create a customised program for each patient’s needs, including exercises to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and proprioception.
Guide patients through the recovery process: We provide support and encouragement throughout the rehabilitation process.
Prepare for surgery: Preoperative physiotherapy at Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic strengthens the surrounding muscles and improves flexibility, aiding in faster and smoother post-surgical recovery.
Manage post-operative recovery: Our physiotherapists design a progressive rehabilitation program to help patients regain strength, flexibility, and full range of motion after surgery.
Help patients return to activities: We work closely with patients to help them safely return to their usual activities, including sports.
By working with our experienced

physiotherapists at Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic, individuals can significantly improve their recovery from a knee ligament injury and get back to the activities they enjoy.

Contact Braybrook Physio & Allied Health Clinic today to schedule a consultation with one of our physiotherapists. We are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal recovery and regain control of your knee health.