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Why Consult a Knee Specialist for Sports Injuries?

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The only thing more frustrating than having a knee injury is your recovery to take longer than needed before you return to your sport.

You can maximise your speed of recovery by understanding a little about the most common knee injuries and by finding a specialist health-care provider who has experience in treating athletes and an interest in your chosen sport.


So, here’s what you need to know about the most common knee sports injuries:


Jumpers Knee (Patella Tendinopathy)

Jumper’s knee is a term used to describe patella tendinopathy. The break down of the Patella Tendon. This is a common chronic injury, usually seen in athletes and caused by repetitive strain from running or jumping. 


Meniscal Tears 

The menisci are rubbery cushions that lie between the major bones of your knee. The menisci perform the role of shock absorbers. If you tear a meniscus, your knee will swell and become painful.

If your knee is stable and not locking, RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation may be all the treatment you need. However many will require an arthroscopy.  The younger you are the more likely you will require an arthroscopy.

If your knee is locking you will probably require an arthroscopy. The surgeon is able to trim the torn meniscus, then you should recover fully within six to eight weeks. If your meniscus is repaired rather than trimmed you may need crutches for a few weeks.


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Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tear

The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) runs along the inside of your knee, and prevents your knee bending inwards. An MCL tear can occur any time weight or force is put on the outside of the knee, forcing it further inwards than it can go. This causes immediate pain, swelling and bruising.

MCL injuries should be treated as any injury, using the PRICE method: Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Most Medial Collateral Ligament injuries are able to heal naturally, given the right rehabilitation and guidance.. 

For a full return to sports, it’s essential to have guided rehabilitation therapy with a physiotherapist. 


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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Rupture

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is in the middle of the knee and prevents your shin bone from sliding in front of the thigh bone.  ACL injuries are very serious, caused when the knee is forced to twist further than it is supposed to.

If you have ruptured your ACL, you will notice some pain and instability when putting any weight on it. Depending on the severity of the rupture, it may be possible to treat with physical therapy alone. 

Some people can even live normally with a torn ACL, but severe cases require surgery to rebuild the ligament. 


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Lateral Collateral Ligament  (LCL)

The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) runs along the outside of the knee joint, from the outside of the bottom of the thighbone to the top of the lower-leg bone. The LCL helps keep the knee joint stable, especially the outer aspect of the joint.

LCL injuries are quite rare and occur when a direct-force trauma to the inside of the knee, forcing it outwards. They also occur during hyperextended knee injury. This puts pressure on the outside of the knee, where the LCL is, and causes it to stretch or tear. This cause pain on the outer part of the knee, towards the back, and your knee will be bruised and swollen.

Mild LCL injuries can be treated with RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. For more severe injuries our orthoptist can fit a brace to keep your knee stable. However, if the ligament is torn severely then surgery will likely be needed to reattach the ligament and any fragment of bone that has come loose in the knee. Post surgery physiotherapy will be necessary to strengthen the knee.


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Knee fracture is associated with a broken patella and/or a fracture in the ends of the femur and tibia. The primary causes of knee fracture are high impact collisions, falls and tackles in competitive team sports.

 Simple patella fractures can be treated by wearing a cast until the bone repairs. However, in the majority of patella fractures, at the moment of injury the pieces of bone move out of alignment (complex fractures) and surgery is needed to restore and stabilise the kneecap



When dislocated, the bones of the knee become partially or completely dislocated or out of place. You will feel sever and sudden pain in the knee, and your knee will likely give way. The knee will swell within the next few hours and look crooked and out of shape.

It is important for a dislocated knee to be put back in place quickly. Once relocated pain will instantly reduce.  However, it is likely that you’ll need to perform knee-strengthening exercises and may need surgery too. Surgery may be used to repair the ligaments or to reshape the groove in the knee, which is a procedure known as trochlearplasty.

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Overtraining (Runners Knee)

Runner’s Knee accounts for up to 40% of knee complaints in sports medicine clinics.  Overtraining is very prevalent in teenagers and younger athletes, typically occurring in males more frequently than females. We see most overtraining injuries in sports like Basketball, Netball, Athletics, Weightlifting, Football, Tennis and Cycling.  Runners Knee occurs when athletes are increasing volume or intensity of training for a competition or in someone who hasn’t exercised starts to, and they train beyond their ability to recover. Treatment is likely to involve RICE, education, physiotherapy and a strength and conditioning programme.

For more information Click Here http://www.wimbledonclinics.co.uk/blog/runners-knee-how-can-i-prevent-it-and-treat-it-by-claire-robertson


 Prevention is better than cure

As the famous saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” So to understand how you can minimise your risk of injury before it happens visit  Wimbledon Clinics’ programmes for injury prevention and return from injury. The time and cost of recovery from injury can be expensive, a screening to identify and deal with your risk factors for injury maybe money well spent.


The next step is to understand how to find the right Knee Specialist

 Here’s our guide to finding a specialist who will really listen and will work with you to fully recover as quick as possible. If you are planning on using your Health Insurance, you may need a referral, so check before you go.


Sports and Exercise Medicine Doctor (SEM)

Doctors with additional training in sports medicine and a particular sporting interest are often the best place to start in gaining specialist knowledge to aid your recovery.

SEM’s will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis, and provide a variety of procedures and treatments to aid your recovery.  Once they have a firm diagnosis and created a treatment plan they may refer you to another specialist for a specific treatment (e.g. surgery). Our SEM doctors are specialists in diagnosis and non operative care.


Orthopaedic Consultant

Orthopaedic Consultants treat injuries, which affect your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Orthopaedic Consultants may offer surgery and many are referred patients by a SEM after non operative treatment has been tried.  However, if you have a reoccurrence of a previous injury an Orthopaedic Consultant maybe the most suitable option to expedite your recovery.

Look for an Orthopaedic Consultant with a sports-medicine specialisation, who has experience in working with athletes to prevent and manage injury and an interest in your chosen sport. Additionally, try and find an Orthopaedic Consultant who works as apart of a multidisciplinary team who considers surgery as a last resort.



Physiotherapists are primarily concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of injuries involving the musculoskeletal system.

Try and find a physiotherapist who specialises in musculoskeletal pain and injury, with an interest in your sport and has a strong relationship with your SEM or Orthopaedic Consultant.

If you think you may have a knee injury and need advice and specialist treatment, then contact us today and we’ll put together a clear strategy for treatment and recovery, so you can be back to your best as soon as possible.

Call us on: 0208 944 0665 or email us at: [email protected]


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