Education

Knee Injuries

Knee Injuries

Sore knees from running, twisted knee on footy pitch or early signs of wear and tear, we at Fix physio will work with you to see what is the underlying cause of your injury and then we’ll set about getting you fixed up whether it be through massage, joint mobilisation, dry needling, taping, balance work, strengthening or stretching. Additional services such as pilates classes can be undertaken to ensure the injury doesn’t recur.

The science part….
The knee is a modified hinge joint and is made up of three bones:i. The femur- this is the longest bone of the body and its lower portion forms the upper part of the knee. It articulates with 2 other bones- firstly, it’s lower portion forms 2 knuckles which forms the hinge joint with the upper surface of the tibia (the shin bone). This joint is called the tibia femoral joint. [Diagram of the tibia femoral joint] Secondly the front of the thigh bone has a small groove just above the knee joint which articulates with the back of the patella (knee cap) during flexion (bending) and straightening (extension) of the knee.ii. The Tibia- Along with the fibula, the tibia forms the shin bone and its upper portion articulates with the lower femur to form the tibia femoral joint (see above)

iii. The patella- the patella or knee cap as it is more commonly known belongs to a group of bones called the sesamoid bones or floating bones. The purpose of sesamoid bones are to change the angle of pull of certain muscles. In the case of the knee the patella changes the angle of pull of the quadriceps muscle as it passes over the patella and attaches into the tibial tuberosity via the patella tendon.

 
Common injuries of the knee
i. Patello femoral Joint (knee cap) injuries

Pain behind, above, to the outside or on the inside of your knee cap particularly going down stairs, running or kneeling on your knee? This is likely to be a patello femoral injury. The knee cap is a very sensitive structure in the sense that for it to be performing optimally it should be tracking correctly. Due to several factors including knee muscle weakness or tightness, poor foot posture or muscle weakness or tightness of the hip, the knee can track incorrectly and therefore cause pain. At Fix physio we will assess what’s causing your particular patella femoral injury and devise a program to resolve your symptoms and get you back to what you love.

ii. Meniscus (Cartilage) injuries (trauma & OA)

The meniscus or cartilage of the knee are two half moon shaped structures inside the knee joint on top of the tibia (shin bone) which act as shock absorbers for the knee joint. The meniscus are commonly injured acutely during sport when the foot is planted and the knee twists. Often a “pop” or “crunch” is felt or heard and pain is often instant. The person with a meniscus injury may find that they can’t fully straighten their knee and weight bearing is difficult due to pain. Usually, the knee is swollen. Occasionally these injuries due to require an arthroscopy (key hole surgery) to rectify the meniscal injury but often they can be resolved with simple Physiotherapy at Fix Physio.

Alternatively, the meniscus can be injured more chronically over a prolonged period of time due to wear and tear or due to chronic cartilage injuries such as in Osteo arthritis. Both of these types of meniscus injury are regularly seen at Fix Physio and we have a specific program to get the knee strong, flexible and comfortable again.

[Diagram of knee meniscus]iii. Ligament injuries

There are four main ligaments of the knee which prevent excessive movement in various directions. Commonly these structures are injured during sport as generally they do require quick, heavily loaded movements such as landing awkwardly or during a tackle to cause them to be injured. The key to good management of knee ligament injuries is accurate, early diagnosis. Less severe knee ligament injuries can be managed well with a myriad of physiotherapy techniques that we employ at Fix physio including massage, acupuncture, taping and a strengthening regime.

More serious knee ligament injuries often require MRI scanning and then referral to the appropriate sports doctor or knee surgeon and at Fix Physio we work closely with the radiology clinics and sports doctors and surgeons to get our patients back to exercising as quickly and as safely as possible.

[Diagram of knee ligaments]iv. ITB syndrome

Do you get pain on the outside of your knee particularly when running- you may well have an Iliotibial band injury or ITB Friction syndrome. This occurs when a fibrous band of tissue called the ITB, which runs from the outside of your hip, down the outer thigh and attaches to the outside of your shin bone, rubs or frictions over the lower femur bone causing pain. Much like Patello femoral injuries, ITB friction syndrome is the end result of several factors. Come and see us at Fix Physio to ease your symptoms and get you running comfortably again.

[Diagram of the ITB]GET FIXED…STAY FIXED