TEAM SPORTS INJURIES
Team Sports Injuries
Whether contact or ‘non-contact’, team sports that involve rapid, twisting movements produce the greatest number of knee injuries.
As with all knee injuries, it’s important to seek prompt, accurate diagnosis from a specialist knee consultant to ensure the best recovery speed and outcome. That’s true whether the knee injury is a simple sprain, a complex multi-ligament injury or a fracture.
Fail to recognise an ACL injury, for example, and it could lead to further major injury once you resume twisting activities. Not only could that compromise the long-term outcome and keep you from the sport you love for longer; it could increase the risk of premature arthritis.
Sprains & Tears (Medial Collateral Ligament)
You can manage simple sprains with the help of a physiotherapist and early mobilisation (i.e. use of the joint). More major tears, however, require a hinged brace (splint), which your knee clinic needs to provide within a week or so.
With bracing, most MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries heal and you’re likely to make an excellent recovery. But delays in seeing your knee consultant can lead to an unstable knee. This can sometimes result in requiring knee ligament surgery, with less predictable results.
Ligament Rupture (Anterior Cruciate Ligament)
What Is The ACL?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the main restraining ligaments of the knee. It sits in the centre of your knee, running from the back of your thigh bone to the front of the shin bone). The ACL keeps your knee stable, especially when you twist, turn or side-step.
How Serious Is An ACL Tear?
A rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most serious ligament injury. It can cause the knee to become unstable particularly when twisting, for example when you plant your foot and the studs catch in the ground. Longer term, it increases the risk of the knee wearing out early (osteoarthritis).
Does ACL Treatment Always Require Surgery?
Sometimes ACL injuries can be managed with physiotherapy alone. More commonly, they require a combination of physiotherapy and ACL reconstruction surgery. To improve your chances of making the best possible recovery and avoiding further injury, seek specialist advice from the Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s orthopaedic consultants immediately after a suspected ACL injury.
Knee Meniscus (‘Cartilage’) Tears
How Can Playing Sports Damage Your Meniscus?
In any high speed sport that involves twisting, your knee menisci (the shock absorbing knee cartilages that sit at the end of the bones) are at risk. Damage can often occur when your foot gets caught on the ground with the body twisting. The medial (inner) meniscus is more commonly torn, and this can cause knee pain and sometimes locking.
How To Treat Meniscus Damage
Small tears can heal and symptoms may settle down but if discomfort continues to limit your activities beyond 4-6 weeks, you may be advised to undergo orthopaedic surgery including knee arthroscopy (simple keyhole surgery).
If you have a ‘locked’ knee which you cannot fully straighten, seek urgent assessment from your Yorkshire Knee Clinic specialist. In these cases, we often advise early surgery to try to save the meniscus and/or restore movement.
Book Your Appointment
Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s orthopaedic specialists can help you recover from knee injuries sustained during team sports so you can make the swiftest possible return to action
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