Here we present a summary of the most common injuries treated at our clinic. We hope you find it useful.
What is Footballers’ Ankle?
Footballers’ ankle occurs when you get a bony growth at the front of the ankle where the joint capsule attaches. It can follow an injury where the ankle has been over stretched or over bent. The bony deposits cause inflammation in the joint capsule and tendons.
- Pain and tenderness when pressing in over the front of the ankle joint.
- Pain when you bend your foot up or down.
- A band of pain across the front of the ankle joint when kicking a ball.
- A bony lump at the front of the ankle.
What can the athlete do?
- If the bony growth is large enough, nothing the athlete can do is likely to help and surgery may be required to remove it.
- See a sport injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation.
- If the injury is more recent or less severe then it may respond to a rehabilitation programme consisting of mobility, stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Wear a heat retainer or support.
What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?
- Apply sports massage techniques.
- Give you a steroid injection and recommend rest.
- Operate if it is really bad.
- Advise on strengthening exercises.
- X ray the ankle to confirm diagnosis.
Torn Cartilage Knee Injury
A torn cartilage is a common knee injury in sport. As the knee joint bends the thigh bone moves on the top surface of the shin bone. Under certain circumstances, the meniscus (often referred to as cartilage) that provides a ‘cushion’ between the two bones can get nipped and torn.
In some cases, after the initial knee pain and swelling, the swollen knee joint settles down and normal activities can be resumed without knee surgery. However, in the case of a sporting individual, if the flap of torn cartilage causes knee locking or giving way, surgery is required. Knee surgery is usually done using arthroscopy, with as little meniscus tissue as possible removed, to minimise the risk of arthritis of the knee.
Common Torn Cartilage injury signs & symptoms:
- Swollen knee.
- Knee pain.
- Knee locking.
- Knee ‘giving way’.
Runner’s Knee Injury
Runner’s Knee is the common term for Ilio Tibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS). Runner’s Knee is a painful overuse knee injury that affects the outer part of the knee. It is fairly common in runners and cyclists.
Most cases of Runner’s Knee respond well to physiotherapy treatment. The aims of treatment are to reduce inflammation using Ice Packs, and to identify and address any underlying postural and body alignment issues that may be contributing to the problem. Many people with mild Runner’s Knee symptoms find that using a Knee Strap is also helpful.
Common Runner’s Knee injury signs & symptoms:
- Knee pain located on the outer side of the knee joint.
- Pain may radiate up the thigh or down the outer side of the shin.
- Pain exacerbated by running or cycling activities and settles down with rest.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Injury
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is a common cause of pain around the knee cap. When the knee bends or straightens, the knee cap glides in a special groove on the thigh bone called the ‘Patellofemoral groove’, controlled by the quadriceps (thigh) muscles. However, for several reasons it may stray from this path (usually towards the outside of the knee). This is called Patellofemoral Maltracking and produces abnormal stresses on the under-surface of the patella that can cause knee cap pain. Physiotherapy often plays a vital role in the treatment of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.
Common Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome signs & symptoms:
- Pain at the front of the knee while ascending or, more often, descending stairs.
- Pain at the front of the knee whilst running.
- Knee pain during prolonged sitting.
Knee Arthritis Injury
Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) is a common cause of knee pain and knee swelling that usually manifests itself in middle age. Knee arthritis is characterised by progressive knee joint degeneration that may be due to knee overuse or secondary to a knee injury such as an ACL injury or a Cartilage injury.
Eventually, knee replacement surgery may be required where there is severe knee pain, although knee exercises and physical therapy rehabilitation are very helpful.
Common Knee Arthritis signs & symptoms:
- History of previous knee injury or knee surgery.
- Knee pain and knee swelling related to overdoing activities.
- Knee stiffness, particularly in cold weather
PCL Tear Injury
The Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) is larger and stronger than the >Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). In most Posterior Cruciate Ligament injuries, the mechanism of injury is usually a blow to the front of the upper shin. Unlike ACL injuries, there is not usually knee pain or swelling with isolated PCL tears. So long as there is no damage to other knee joint structures, and there is no knee joint instability, most people can return to sports in 4-6 weeks using a Knee Brace, following physiotherapy treatment.
Common PCL Tear signs & symptoms:
- A history of trauma to the knee joint.
- There is rarely knee pain or knee swelling.
- Vague unsteadiness or insecurity in the knee.
Jumpers Knee Injury
Jumpers Knee is the common term for Patella Tendonitis. Jumpers Knee occurs gradually if jumping and landing type activities are practised too much, because the strain on the Patella Tendon becomes too great and microscopic damage develops in the tissue that makes up the tendon. Patella Tendinopathy is usually characterised by degeneration of the tendon, whereas Patella Tendonitis is characterised by inflammation of the patella tendon, which is much more rare. Many people find that a Patella Tendon strap can be helpful to relieve the symptoms of Jumpers Knee.
Jumpers Knee injury signs & symptoms:
- Knee pain that comes on gradually below the knee cap.
- Knee pain is worsened by activity.
- Patella tendon is painful to touch.
- Patella Tendon feels very stiff first thing in the morning.
Patella Fracture Injury
A Patella fracture, or broken knee cap, is usually caused by a forceful direct blow. The fracture may consist of a single crack across the kneecap, or the kneecap may be broken into several pieces. Simple Patella fractures are usually dealt with by immobilising the knee joint in a plaster cast for 6 weeks. More severe Patella fractures can require surgery to restore the knee cap to its original position.
Common Patella Fracture injury signs & symptoms:
- History of trauma to knee cap.
- Immediate intense knee pain.
- Immediate knee swelling.
Osteochondritis Dissecans Injury
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) of the knee is a disorder where fragments of bone break off from the knee joint surface. This interferes with normal knee joint function and causes knee pain and swelling. The condition usually presents itself to patients in their teenage years but the disorder may appear in later life, where it is associated with the degeneration of knee arthritis. Knee surgery may be required for Osteochondritis Dissecans.
Common Osteochondritis Dissecans signs & symptoms:
- Aching knee pain.
- Swollen knee.
- Knee locking and giving way, with a painful clunk.
Knee Ligament Injury
The Medial Collateral Ligament is the knee ligament that is located on the inner side of the knee joint. It links the thigh bone and the shin bone. A knee ligament injury is referred to as a sprain, and this knee injury can occur if the knee is twisted or subject to force from an opponent during sport.
Severe Medial Collateral Ligament injuries should be checked by a knee specialist to check if knee surgery is required. In more moderate knee ligament injuries, a Knee Brace can be helpful by taking the strain off the injured ligament.
In the early stage of the injury the PRICE protocol should be followed – Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ice Packs applied for 20 minutes every 2 hours can aid pain relief and help to prevent more tissue damage by cooling the tissues (never apply ice directly to the skin as it can cause an ice burn).
Common MCL Knee Ligament injury signs & symptoms:
- A history of knee twisting or trauma.
- Knee pain on the inner side of the knee joint.
- Knee pain when bending or straightening the knee.
- Swollen knee.
ACL Knee Injury & Reconstruction
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) lies deep within the knee joint. An ACL tear is a fairly common knee injury in sports that involve changing direction and turning, occurring most notably by landing from a jump onto a bent knee then twisting, or landing on a knee that is over-extended. In collision sports, direct contact to the knee from opponents can cause an ACL injury.
A Knee Brace can be an effective treatment in some individuals, but in sporting individuals knee surgery for ACL reconstruction is usually indicated to restore knee joint stability and reduce the risk of developing knee arthritis in the long term. Following ACL surgery, physical therapy rehabilitation is very important.
Common ACL injury signs & symptoms:
- Snapping sensation deep within the knee.
- Knee pain.
- Knee instability.
- Swollen knee after a couple of hours.
What about Kids
Osgood Schlatters Injury
Osgood Schlatters is a common overuse knee injury that affects the upper part of the shin bone. It is most common in adolescents between the ages of 9 and 14 years, who are active in sports, especially those who have recently experienced a ‘growth spurt’. It is more common in males than in females. Osgood Schlatters is a form of Traction Apophysitis that occurs on an area of the shin bone called the Tibial Tuberosity (the small lump at the top of your shin, just below the kneecap).
Common Osgood Schlatters signs & symptoms:
- Knee pain during and following activity.
- Enlarged Tibial Tuberosity (lump just below the knee cap).
- Pain when touching the Tibial Tuberosity.