Common Injuries

Knee

Knee Injuries

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

    The ACL is commonly injured while playing sports or doing an activity that requires a large amount of pivoting, change of direction, jumping or sudden deceleration. Typically, the knee gives out or collapses when the athlete tries to plant and pivot.  Immediate pain, an audible pop and immediate swelling often occurs right after the injury. Most patients are unable to finish their activity after the injury. 

    Physiotherapy should be sought immediately to control the pain/swelling and restore strength back in the knee. An ACL tear can be diagnosed without the need for an MRI.

    If the knee continues to be unstable or give way despite proper rehabilitation, surgery may be indicated to reconstruct the ACL.

  • Patella Instability and Dislocation

    Patellar dislocations occurs when the patella (kneecap) slides out of the groove of the thigh bone (femur). Typically the patella will dislocate laterally (to the outside aspect of the knee) and can be visibly seen sitting outside the groove. Dislocations can occur when landing from a jump, change of direction while running or traumatic injury where the knee has been hit, forcing the patella to dislocate. An audible pop, immediate swelling and pain usually occurs right after the injury.

    If the patella appears out of place, one should not try to push it back into place.  Medical attention should be sought immediately.

    Physiotherapy can help control pain, reduce swelling and maintain the strength in the knee. Bracing may help to assist the patient getting back to sport and prevent a re-dislocation. 

    If the patella is very unstable, it may continue to dislocate or sublux. If this is the case, a consultation with a knee surgery may be advised.

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a common knee affliction. Usually there is a gradual onset of knee or pain under the kneecap (patella) that is felt behind or on the inside aspect of the kneecap during activity.  Patients also complain of knee stiffness during periods of inactivity such as watching a movie or sitting for a long time. This condition may also develop slowly after a history of traumatic injury or surgery. Clicking or grinding under the kneecap is often associated with this condition. 

    Pursuing physiotherapy is the best course of action for patellofemoral pain syndrome. The exercise program is important because it addresses both the hip and knee muscles which play a significant role in the syndrome.

  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury

    The PCL is typically injured from a direct blow (e.g. a football or rugby tackle) or a fall to the front of the knee while it is flexed or bent.  PCL injuries can occur with other ligament tears in the knee, but this usually occurs with high-energy trauma. Immediate swelling, pain and an audible pop or crack often can be heard when the injury occurs.

    Isolated PCL injuries often do not limit a patient after it has been rehabilitated; therefore, physiotherapy should be initiated immediately. If the knee continues to feel unstable or if other ligaments were damaged as well, surgery may be indicated.

Knee Clinics