Knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body. It carries the whole human weight, and its stability is of grave importance so there would be no problems with balance, walking, and standing upright.
Knee joint is composed of the femur (thigh bone), tibia, and fibula (calf bone), anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and two collateral ligaments, patella and patellar ligament, and two menisci. These are the basic parts of the knee joints – changes in these structures usually cause knee pain.
Pain after injury – acute conditions
Ligament and meniscus injuries are most common injuries of the knee joint. They usually follow as a result of too much pressure on the knee joint which leads to breaking some ligament fibers, or complete meniscus injury. Often several structures get damaged at the same time, e.g. skiers often experience breaking of anterior cruciate ligament in combination with meniscus injury.
- Painful and swollen knee
- Reduced mobility
- Instability in the knee
- Impossibility to lean on that leg
Which diagnostic methods should be applied?
Very often people with knee joint injury come and want to do the ultrasound examination. I must say it’s not always the best choice, because it is difficult to ascertain whether cruciate ligaments were damaged or the meniscus since they are places quite deep in the knee. Magnetic resonance is a much better choice and it will give correct answer to whether soft structures of the knee joint were injured.
Treatment can be divided into two categories. First one is surgical and the other is not. In any case, both categories need physical therapy. We use ultrasound, laser, magnetic therapy, electro stimulation, and individual exercises depending on the patient’s condition.
How can you help yourself?
We must emphasize that it is necessary to visit a physician or physical therapist in order to see what the problem is, but what you can do alone is called RICE:
- Keep your leg elevated
- Apply ice 3-4 times daily
- Wear an elastic bandage while walking