The most common knee conditions are traumatic injury, osteoarthritis, overload injuries such as patella tendonitis/tendinopathy, patellofemoral joint pain due to maltracking of knee cap, fractures and dislocations or rehabilitation following knee surgery.
- Ligament injuries such as ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament). It is important the physio sees you soon after your injury to avoid secondary problems such as the knee stiffening or walking awkwardly which can result in hip or low back pain. From the history of your injury, we can usually diagnose what area/structures of the knee has been injured. Starting your rehabilitation very soon after the injury has been shown to be the best and fastest way to recover. The initial aims of treatment are to reduce pain and restore the movement in your knee.
- Meniscus (cartilage) tear. This can occur during sport, usually by twisting the knee when standing on it. A tear can also occur for no obvious reason, often these are associated with age related changes. Whatever the cause, it is important to see your physio to restore your normal knee movement as soon as possible and to commence strengthening exercises for the muscles.
- Muscle injury such as a Hamstring tear and thigh strain usually occurring when participating in sport. The muscle becomes bruised, painful and swollen causing reduced flexibility. Starting your rehabilitation soon after the injury has been shown to be the best and fastest way to recover. The initial aims of treatment are to reduce pain and swelling and when appropriate to start flexibility and strengthening exercises.
The cartilage covering the surfaces of the joint wear thinner with age. It is a natural process but may at times, cause the knee to become stiff and painful and with time, the muscles around the knee become weaker. The arthritic knee therefore has less support which will increase pain. Treatment will include strengthening exercises for the knee to do at home and more likely some hands-on treatment to assist you to regain full movement.
Anterior knee pain
There are many causes of pain at the front of the knee (anterior knee pain), such as Patella tendonitis, Chondromalacia Patella, and Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. In common with these conditions are symptoms which get worse with activities of daily living such as walking downstairs, squatting, pushing the clutch pedal down, and sitting for long periods with the knee in a flexed position, such as at the cinema.
Following Knee Surgery
Physiotherapy is nearly always a necessity before and following surgery to the knee, following procedures such as:
Total knee replacement usually performed for pain due to osteoarthritis.
Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) for injuries such as a meniscal tear.
Reconstruction of the ACL.
The aims of physiotherapy rehabilitation following surgery is to restore the range of movement, increase the muscle strength, improve your proprioception and balance to get you back to your normal daily activities. Sport specific training may be included if indicated.