• Nuffield Hospital Leeds

    2 Leighton street, Leeds, LS1 3EB
    Main switchboard: 0113 388 2000
    Out-patient bookings: 0113 388 2067

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    BMI The Duchy Hospital Harrogate

    Queens Road, Harrogate, HG2 OHF
    Main switchboard: 01423 567136
    Out-patient bookings: 0808 101 0337

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    Spire Methley Park Hospital

    Methley Lane, Methley, Leeds, LS26 9HG
    Main switchboard: 01977 518518
    Out-patient bookings: 01977 518518

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  • Team Sports Injuries

    Knee injuries with rapid twisting sports (whether contact or ‘non-contact’)
    are extremely common and with large numbers of participants from elite
    professionals through to the occasional ‘weekend warrior’ they produce
    the greatest number of knee injuries.

    As with all knee injuries prompt, accurate diagnosis optimises the
    recovery process and ultimate outcome from simple sprains to
    complex multi-ligament injuries or fractures. Failure to recognise
    an ACL injury, for example, can lead to further major injury on
    return to twisting activity which is likely to compromise the
    long-term outcome, increasing the risk of premature arthritis.

    All possible knee injuries can occur with these high-energy
    twisting sports but the commonest are:

    MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain/tear

    Simple sprains can be managed actively with the help of a physiotherapist and early mobilisation. More major tears however require a hinged brace (splint), which needs to be provided within a week or so. With bracing most MCL injuries heal and patients make an excellent recovery. Delays in diagnosis, however, can lead to an unstable knee, sometimes requiring knee ligament surgery, with less predictable results.

    More on MCL, PCL & Complex Ligament Injuries

    ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) rupture

    A rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the most serious ligament injury, can cause the knee to become unstable particularly when twisting (for example when the foot plants and studs catch in the ground). Longer term, it increases the risk of the knee wearing out early (osteoarthritis). These injuries can be managed with physiotherapy alone or (more commonly) by a combination of physiotherapy and ACL reconstruction surgery. Early knee specialist advice is critical to make the best possible recovery and to avoid further injury.

    More on ACL Injuries

    Knee Meniscus (cartilage) tears

    The knee meniscus is at risk with twisting high speed sports where the foot can get caught on the ground with the body twisting. The medial (inner) meniscus is more commonly torn leading to pain and sometimes locking of the knee. Small tears can heal and symptoms settle down but if discomfort continues to limit activities over 4-6 weeks then treatment including knee arthroscopy (simple keyhole surgery) may be advised. ‘Locked’ knees which cannot be fully straightened require urgent assessment within a week or two and often early surgery is advised to try to save the meniscus and/or to restore movement.

    More on Meniscal Cartilage Injuries