Calling out to all Runner’s or Skier’s. Take note of this injury mentioned below. It’s a very common injury within running and skiing due to the movement patterns required for the sport.
What is it?
The knee has a major articulation between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). These bones meet with surfaces that don’t match up particularly well. To improve the joint congruency, two horseshoe-snapped pieces of cartilage called menisci are positioned at the end of each bone.
The menisci not only improve congruency of the joint, but act as shock absorbers during activity.
These are fragile and with age become more prone to injury. The biomechanics of the knee joint play a huge part in the maintenance of the menisci, as a perfectly aligned knee will be much less likely to damage the cartilage.
There is no evidence to support the notion that running alone speeds up the degradation of these structure or the knee itself. However, it is logical to accept that poor alignment will damage the surfaces and everything in between at a faster rate (Hobrough, 2016).
Cartilage can tear (acute injury) or break down (chronic injury) over time. Acute injuries usually occur with a twisting motion as the two bones provide both a compressive and rotational force to the cartilage. This is sufficient to cause a tear within the material.
Early Warning Signs
– From time of injury swelling is delayed by 7 -12 hours
– Pain in straightening the knee
– Joint line tenderness
– Knee gives way, or feels unstable
– Knee locks
Common reason for injury
The injury can be acute (sudden onset) from a rugby tackle or falling over skiing. Or can come on over a period of years, from gradual break down through a biomechanics fault with the alignment of the knee.
What to expect from a Physio/rehabilitator
Your physio/rehabiliator will carry out a variety of tests. These tests can sometimes produce the same pain you have been experiencing. We try to keep pain to a minimum but it is important that we achieve a robust diagnosis.
The likely outcome is a referral for an MRI scan. However, your Physio can give you some good exercises to do that can both help with the alignment and also prepare you for surgery.
Surgery is normally required to clean out any torn menisci within your knee. This is done by key hole surgery, which enables a swift recovery. However, the issue still remains that if your menisci became worn due to a chronic injury, then whilst an operation is one route, physiotherapy is now thought to be the leading treatment.
Specific rehabilitation and manual therapy are key aspects when dealing with a meniscus injury. The goal of any rehabilitation would be to correct any biomechanics issues that may have lead to the injury. As well as a specific strength program to reduce the chances of re-injury.
Here at Comfort Health
If you are struggling with any of the symptoms mentioned above or knee pain, It’s really important to get your area of pain checked out by a specialist. At Comfort Health we can diagnose your injury, but also help with reducing your pain, allowing for a speedy recovery. Click HERE to get an appointment with one of our practitioners!