Knee

Knee Injury Treatment

Knee injuries cause knee pain and difficulty walking. If appropriate treatment is not taken during the initial phases of injury, ongoing damage can lead to early arthritis in the knee.

Some injuries will not need immediate surgery. If symptoms persist and you experience locking or swelling of the knee, arthroscopic surgery should be considered to repair the injury.

No Gap Billing

Dr Rimmer offers no gap orthopaedic surgery to all his patients with private health insurance. This ensures great value and savings to patients who pay a substantial amount to insure themselves and their families.

If you have injured your knee and have ongoing pain, locking or stiffness, you might be a candidate for arthroscopic knee surgery, repair or reconstruction.

What is the anatomy of the knee?

The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. It consists of bones, ligaments, and muscles. The knee is made up of the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap). The meniscus, a soft cartilage between the femur and tibia, serves to cushion the knee and helps it absorb shock during motion.

The stability and strength of the knee joint are maintained by four ligaments: the medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.

When any of these structures are injured you may have knee pain and difficulty in walking. You may hear a popping or snapping sensation at the time of the injury or you may feel like your knee is giving way. You may also experience swelling, limping, and a general inability to move the knee.

What are common knee injuries?

KNEE SPRAINS

Knee Sprain
A knee sprain is a common injury that occurs from over-stretching the ligaments that support the knee joint. A knee sprain occurs when the knee ligaments are twisted or turned beyond its normal range causing the ligaments to tear.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain
Medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprains normally happen as a result of an acute knee injury, although they can also develop over time. Repetitive sideways forces on your knee (also known as valgus forces) can lead to an MCL sprain over time.

KNEE LIGAMENT AND MENISCUS TEARS

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Tears
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the major ligaments of the knee that is located in the middle of the knee and runs from the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone). It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. Together with posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), it provides rotational stability to the knee.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tears
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is located on the inner part of the knee joint. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the top of the tibia (shinbone) and helps in stabilising the knee. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury can result in a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament. Injuries to the MCL commonly occur as a result of a pressure or stress on the outside part of the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may be torn along with an MCL injury.

Multiligament Injuries
A multi-ligament injury is the injury to multiple ligaments at the same time. Damage to three or more ligaments may cause joint dislocation. The knee joint has 2 sets of ligaments–collateral ligaments (medial and collateral ligaments) that connect the bones on the outer side of the knee and cruciate ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament) those present inside the joint.

Meniscal Tear
Meniscal tears are one of the most common injuries to the knee joint. It can occur at any age but are more common in athletes playing contact sports. A meniscal tear is a tear that occurs in the cartilage of the knee. The meniscus is a small, “C” shaped piece of cartilage in the knee joint. Each knee has two menisci, the medial meniscus on the inner aspect of the knee and the lateral meniscus on the outer aspect of the knee. The medial and lateral menisci act as a cushion between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia).

OTHER KNEE INJURIES

  • Fracture of femur (thigh bone), tibia and fibula (leg bones)
  • Rupture of blood vessels following a trauma that leads to accumulation of extra fluid or blood in the joint
  • Dislocation of knee cap (patella)
  • Torn quadriceps or hamstring muscles
  • Patellar tendon tear

What investigations are used in the diagnosis of knee injuries?

X-rays of the knee are the ideal first investigation in the setting of an acute knee injury to detect fractures or dislocations that will need immediate treatment. CT scans and MRIs are used to diagnose damage to knee ligaments. Ligament damage does not usually need immediate treatment but these scans are important when planning or considering surgery.

If you or someone you know has a knee injury, book an appointment with Dr Rimmer to have your situation properly assessed and managed.