Tag Archives: knee injuries

Meniscal tear

Looking into the knee with a scope gives a surgeon the perfect picture of what is going on inside the knee joint. If you have torn some cartilage from the bone, or have some tearing of your meniscus from a sporting injury, an arthroscopy can fix this.

While looking at the inside of the joint Dr Ben can see the tear and either smooth the area so it not longer catches and causes pain or fix it back into place with a small stitch. This is done with fine instruments that can fit through a cut in the skin the width of a thumb nail.

Loose Bodies

Sometimes a small piece of cartilage or boney surface detaches due to injury. This causes pain inside the knee and can scratch and damage the joint surface. A knee arthroscopy is a good way to remove this problem.

Knee arthroscopies will not help people with bad arthritis who do not have any meniscal tears.

orthopaedic surgeon perth

Northern Hemisphere Ski Season

We are now in the middle of the Northern hemisphere ski season, and from all accounts, there has been plenty of snow in all the major skiing destinations. So many people are planning exciting holidays to Japan, North America and Europe and skiing is often the big draw card.

What are the most common injuries?

The majority of injuries to the knee involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Last year I saw a family that had returned from Japan where both Mum and Dad injured their ACL. Despite that, they’re already booked for this years ski season with their ACLs reconstructed.

How do they occur?

Most knee injuries occur in fatigued skiers. This often corresponds to the middle or end of your holiday and later in the day. If you are tired take a break, warm up inside for a bit and get your energy back.

It’s a common misconception that you need to be going fast to injure yourself while skiing. In actual fact, most knee injuries occur at low speed, often while turning at the bottom of a run when the knee is over rotated.

How do you know if your knee is severely injured?

This is normally it is pretty obvious to the skier. If you’ve heard a crack or pop then you have ruptured something, and severe pain or the inability to weight bear suggests significant damage.

A knee that feels unstable or gives way usually means a ligament is torn, and swelling in the knee post-injury may signify bleeding into the joint – an indicator of severe injury.

I have injured my knee skiing, what should I do?

If after the injury, you’re unable to ski, the knee is swollen, feels unstable or is very painful, then it is worth seeking medical help whilst still on holiday.

The ski patrol may have been involved in helping you off the snow, in which case you will usually be assessed at the ski resort medical centre. The staff here will be very experienced in knee injuries and can usually make an accurate diagnosis.

If this hasn’t occurred, a lot of ski resorts now have physiotherapists or medical centres nearby where you’ll receive an excellent knee diagnosis. You’ll usually need crutches and a splint, plenty of rest, ice and elevation of the injured leg.

I have been told I have ruptured my cruciate, what should I do?

Early on, it’s all about getting comfortable and reducing the swelling. That means rest, ice, compression, and elevation. There’s no hurry to have your ACL fixed, and certainly no need to have it fixed overseas. Most travel insurance companies will allow you to upgrade your return ticket to a class that provides you with additional leg room, so it’s certainly worth contacting them.

We are very used to liaising with injured patients while on holiday, so don’t hesitate to email or call us and we can arrange any scans and appointments as soon as you return to Perth.

Some top tips to consider before you ski:

Get fit: Skiing is physically demanding. Doing some leg strengthening exercises (running, walking, cycling, cross training) in the weeks leading up to your trip is a good idea. FIFA has a great series of exercises around the knees that decrease your risk of injury https://www.kort.com/uploadedFiles/KORT/Content/Services/Sports_Medicine/Concussion_Management/FIFA-the-11-Booklet.pdf

Avoid fatigue: If your legs are aching, have a rest day.

Alcohol at lunch: Always a bad idea. (Unless of course you’re already at the bottom of the slope!)

Insurance: Comprehensive overseas travel insurance is now very affordable and a wise investment.

Over 1.2 million Australians play netball regularly. It is the leading women’s participation sport and the top team sport for ages 15 to 24 . All ages play netball and it is a fantastic sport to develop health and fitness. Netball involves high speed, deceleration, twisting and pivoting. Because of this knee injuries are relatively common.
The knee is the most commonly injured joint in Netball. 25% of major injuries reported from netball involve rupture of the ACL. This is a devastating injury to netballers as it usually requires surgery, prolonged rehabilitation and time away from the sport. Other less severe knee injuries occurring during netball include ligament sprains, dislocated knee caps or torn cartilages.

Knee injuries from jumping or twisting

So, I have injured my knee while playing netball, how do I know if it is serious?

Most people that sustain a severe injury to their knee know straight away they have done something major. Other clues include:
– Snap or pop: If you hear or feel a noise it means something has broken or ruptured.
– Can’t walk on it : If it is too sore or unstable to play or walk on serious damage is likely.
– Immediate swelling: Usually signifies bleeding into the knee and thus, a serious injury.
If any of the above occur you should rest, ice , elevate and compress the joint and then get the knee examined as soon as possible. Your GP, Physio or Orthopaedic surgeon can examine your knee injury.

knee injuries could be an ACL rupture

Will I need surgery?

You will need surgery if you have ruptured your ACL or torn your cartilage.
ACL reconstruction is the standard treatment for a torn ACL. It involves surgery to replace the ruptured ACL with a tendon from elsewhere in your body. The rehab is long but the results are good. If you have torn a cartilage (meniscus) knee arthroscopy is usually required. This is simple day case keyhole surgery. Most people are back playing sport 4 to 6 weeks after arthroscopy.

How can I prevent knee injuries while playing netball?

There is now good evidence that injury prevention programs do work to limit the number of knee injuries. Netball Australia has a KNEE program that consists of a number of knee exercises that can be incorporated into the warm up and main part of netball training. These aim to improve player’s technique, strength and agility. Which is especially relevant to preventing knee injuries.

In conclusion Netball is a fantastic and safe sport. It is possible to injure your knee playing, but a good assessment and treatment plan can get you back on the court as soon as possible. Contact Dr Benjamin Hewitt, to arrange a consultation if you suffer a knee injury.

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