Acute Knee Injuries

Acute knee injuries usually occur suddenly through either direct trauma or twisting the knee joint. Symptoms usually include immediate pain with swelling and sometimes bruising. The most common acute knee injuries include knee ligament sprains, especially anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament on the inside of the knee as well as damage to cartilage and soft tissues in the joint. It is strongly advised not to carry on playing if you have acute knee pain as this can easily progress to a chronic injury if not treated properly.

ACL Sprain

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury or 'ACL injuries' are common in contact sports and especially those that are combined with a sudden change of direction such as soccer or football. Often ACL tears do not occur in isolation and are in most cases are associated with damage to other structures within the knee such as the cartilage or the collateral ligaments.

Medial Ligament Sprain

A medial ligament sprain or MCL injury is a tear of the ligament on the inside of the knee, usually a result of twisting or direct impact. Here we explain the assessment and diagnosis as well as immediate first aid, treatment, rehabilitation, exercises, taping and advice from elite level sports physiotherapists.

Lateral Knee Ligament Sprain

A lateral ligament sprain is a knee injury involving a tear to the ligament on the outside of the knee. It most likely occurs following a direct blow to the inside of the knee which causes overstretching of the knee. Here we explain the treatment, rehabilitation, and exercises as well as strapping and taping to return you back to full fitness.

Medial Meniscus Tear

A torn meniscus is a tear of the semi-circular cartilage in the knee joint causing pain on the inside of the knee. It is commonly injured through direct impact in contact sports or twisting but can also occur in older athletes through gradual degeneration. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is and may require surgery.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament

The posterior cruciate ligament is important for stabilizing the knee and preventing it from bending back the wrong way. The most common cause is an impact to the front of the knee which causes the joint to bend back the wrong way. Here we explain the immediate first aid and treatment as well as rehabilitation exercises, strapping and more.

Hamstring Rupture

A full or partial rupture of the hamstring muscle tendons can occur at the point where they insert into the back of the knee. Sudden sharp pain may be felt at the time of injury with possible swelling and soreness. Here we explain how the injury occurs as well as treatment, rehabilitation and exercises to return you back to full fitness.

Knee Contusion

A knee contusion or bruised knee occurs due to an impact on the knee. This can be due to a fall directly onto the knee or something hitting the knee, such as a ball or club. A contusion is a medical term for a bruise. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is.

Coronary Ligament Sprain

Coronary ligament sprain has similar symptoms to cartilage meniscus injury and often occur at the same time as lateral knee ligament injuries (at the side of the knee). A sharp pain is felt on twisting and turning but it is often not bad enough to require complete rest.

Biceps Femoris Avulsion

A biceps femoris avulsion strain or fracture occurs when the tendon comes away from the bone, taking a small fragment of bone with it causing pain and swelling at the outside back of the knee. It may often be misdiagnosed as a simple tendon injury and may require a much longer period of recovery.

Acute Patella Injury

An acute patella injury is an injury to the kneecap or patella from a direct blow or fall onto the knee. This could include bruising or soft tissue injury but in more severe cases a fracture of the patella is also possible. Patellofemoral pain is sometimes a complication to be aware of.

Osteochondral Knee Fracture

An Osteochondral fracture is a tear of the cartilage which covers the end of a bone, within a joint. It is also known as Osteochondritis Dissecans and is common in the knee joint, especially in association with other injuries such as ACL tears.

Knee Sprain

A knee sprain is a tear to any of the four ligaments which support the knee and can include lateral ligament sprains on the inside or outside of the knee, or tears to the cruciate ligaments deeper inside the knee joint. Often knee sprains are a complicated involving injury to more than one ligament as well as other structures in the joint.

Articular cartilage injury

Articular cartilage injury is damage to the tough, thin cartilage that lines the ends of bones. It is often caused by a collision or trauma to the knee or in conjunction with other knee joint injuries. Here explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment of an articular cartilage injury to the knee.

Tibial Plateau Fracture

The tibial plateau is the upper surface of the tibia or shin bone. It is prone to becoming fractured in high-speed accidents such as those associated with skiing, horse riding, and certain water sports.

Unhappy Triad

The unhappy triad is a severe injury which involves damage to three of the four major ligaments in the knee. This is a major knee injury that often occurs after a severe impact. Severe knee pain, difficulty moving the knee and a tearing sound at the time of injury are the main symptoms.

Dislocated Knee

A dislocated knee is where the femur or thigh bone and the tibia or shin bone are moved apart. This is different from a patella dislocation where the kneecap only dislocates outwards and round the side of the knee and is a far more serious and traumatic injury. It is rare in sports, more likely to occur following a road traffic accident or similar.

Patella Dislocation

The patella can dislocate outside of its normal position, usually around the outside of the knee. It can also partially dislocate, called a subluxation. The kneecap will often be visibly displaced and is often caused by a direct impact or a severe twisting action. The patella will sometimes go back to its original position, although this will be very painful.

Patella Tendon Rupture

The patella tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone. A partial rupture of this tendon is often from a jumping or explosive load on the tendon. People who have previously suffered from patella tendon injuries are more at risk as the tendon is weakened. This knee injury causes swelling and is very painful.