Sports knee injuries are common in those who are very active in sports such as football, basketball, cheer-leading, and high jump. Ligament tears are common when landing from a jump incorrectly. No matter the cause of the injury, the pain of a knee injury can be excruciating, and anyone experiencing it certainly wants the fastest possible relief and treatment for their injury. Getting back on the field may appear to be the prime concern of an athlete, but without the correct treatment they may cause permanent damage to your knee.
There are a few things that you can do at home to treat your knee injury, assuming the injury is mild.
• Ensure that you allow your knee the proper time to rest and to heal.
• Rotate hot and cold therapy throughout the day. An ice pack on the knee for about 10 to 15 minutes will help reduce the swelling and some of the pain. Heat packs should be applied for the same length of time a couple of times per day.
• Pain medication is often given by the doctor to help aid in the pain that you feel after a knee injury. Over-the-counter medications are also available for minimal pain levels.
• Pain medication that reduces inflammation is the best option for a speedy recovery, but ensures you’re not relying on the medication to allow you to perform physically taxing exercises before your knee is fully healed.
Serious Injuries to the Knee
The actual treatment that you will require will vary according to the type of injury that you have. While torn ligaments are the most common type of injury, there are many others an individual can also be afflicted with. Those conditions include:
• Cartilage tears
• Knee sprains
• Bone fractures
• Bursitis of the knee
• Trapped knee lining
Physical Therapy as Alternative to Surgery
A 2013 study (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301408), by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard University, found that a 6-week regimen of physical therapy can offer as good results as surgery in many cases. When 361 patients with similar injuries were given physical therapy or surgery, the results were broadly the same at 6 months and at 12 months. Bear in mind that all of these subjects had had an MRI, and had already been referred to a surgeon as a last resort. However one third of the physical therapy patients chose to cross over to surgery over the course of the study.
In some cases, a knee injury will require surgery to correct the problem. A knee surgeon is a specialist in this field. A successful surgery is dependent upon a qualified and skilled knee surgeon.
Knee surgery continues to advance, and the recovery time from surgeries reduce on a yearly basis as new, less-invasive options become available. The expected recovery time does depend entirely of the extent of the injury. For example, reconstructive ACL surgery is commonly used to treat anterior cruciate ligament injuries – the most common form of knee injuries in athletes. Full recovery can take between 6 and 12 months.