Sports injuries leading to knee pain and swelling are very common scenario among the young, active population. Most of such incidents happen while playing Soccer (Football), Tennis, Badminton, Dancing and even skating.
We commonly see patients with twisting injuries presenting with sharp severe pain in the Knee, swelling of the knee, and difficulty in walking.
- First & foremost, we must never consider a knee injury as trivial one.
Knee joint has multiple soft structures like meniscus and ligaments which get damaged due to injury. The most important aspect in the recovery is an early assessment by an Orthopedic doctor leading to diagnosis and early treatment.
As a commoner, the first thing we need to do in case of a knee injury is to apply cold packs. There is a common myth to use hot packs even in case of injury, often leading to more pain and inflammation.
- Second important thing to do is to apply splintage. Knee immobilizer which block all knee movements are commonly available.
- Third, as soon as the patient stabilizes, take him/ her to an Orthopedic surgeon who deals with sports injury.
An X ray may be required if a bony injury is suspected. But, in most cases, a normal x ray result leads to a conclusion for a normal knee; this error must be avoided at all costs. A comprehensive evaluation by an Orthopedic doctor will help him to assess for injury to meniscus or ligaments.
We come across statements such as the x ray was clear, so we didn't take the injury seriously.
Please understand that cases of ligament injuries or meniscus injuries cause much more problem at times, simply because they were overlooked or improperly diagnosed.
MRI remains the gold standard test for diagnosis, and it should always be requested for if the doctor feels that there could be a ligament/ meniscus tear.
Treatment for meniscus and ligament injuries can be done using minimally invasive techniques like Arthroscopy or key hole surgery; and results are excellent if treated within the right time frame.