Knee joint is the biggest joint of the body and it contributes to many movements such as walking, running, going up and down, and sitting up in our daily life. The knee joint consists of 3 bones: the thigh bone, the tibia, and the knee cap bone. The inner side ligament, the outer side ligament, the front and back cross ligaments are structures that hold these bones together. Meniscus is a cartilaginous tissue with a shock absorptive mission between the thigh and tibial bones in the knee joint. The injuries of these structures, which provide the stability and movement of the knee joint, are particularly encountered in sports require jumping, sudden stop and contact such as soccer, basketball, skiing, and tennis. Orthopedics and physical therapy-rehabilitation specialists apply various treatments for healing as soon as possible, recovery and prevention from new injuries. Knee sports injuries are performed by experienced orthopedic specialists in the field.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the ligaments that provide stabilization of the knee joint. The anterior cruciate ligament prevents the knee joint from sliding forward. Most of the anterior cruciate ligament injuries occur in the 20-30 year olds who are suddenly slowing down, turning the torso on the knee, or uncontrolled loading on the knee after the jump during doing sports such as football, basketball. Anterior cruciate ligament injury may also accompany meniscal tear. Patients are often injured during a sporting activity and are referred to the orthopedic surgeon with pain in the knee, limitation of movement, swelling of the knee, gait and feeling of insecurity while walking. Some of the patients say that they heard a sound from their knees during the injury. In cases where anterior cruciate ligament tears are not treated surgically, painful swelling of the knee and knee calcification may develop. The diagnosis of the patients is made with the detailed physical examination and imaging methods to be performed by the orthopedic specialist. The imaging method commonly used in anterior cruciate ligament injuries is MR.
Treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries
The best treatment option for anterior cruciate ligament injury is accepted as surgery especially in young patients. Non-operative treatment methods may be considered in those older than 40 years who are not active in sports. While the surgery is considered immediately for professional sportsmen, for those who do not have active sports, anterior cruciate ligament surgery can be expected for 2-3 weeks. In the operation ruptured ligament is replaced by an appropriate ligament taken from a cadaver or another part of the body. Instead of anterior cruciate ligaments, tendons of the muscles behind the thigh are often used. Anterior cruciate ligament surgeries are performed by closed methods and take 1-2 hours on average. Patients can be lifted to the foot 6 hours after the surgery and can partially load their knees. Patients can be discharged three to four days after the operation and an exercise program should be organized by a physiotherapist. Patients after anterior cruciate ligament surgery can return to their normal lives in about 1-2 months, while for professional athletes this is about 6-8 months.
What is meniscus?
In the knee joint, there are two meniscuses, one internal and one external meniscus. Meniscuses are flexible and slippery structures that function as shock absorbers to keep the joint surfaces not touching each other and allowing the joint faces to conform to each other.
What is the meniscus rupture?
Meniscus tears often occur in young people as a result of turning on the fixed foot while doing sports such as football, basketball, skiing. The most frequent cause of meniscus tears in the elderly is the abrasion of menisci. Meniscus tears may develop even in simpler traumas such as crouching or stumbling in elderly patients. The most common complaints in meniscus tears are lining pain, swelling, locking, stabbing and ejaculation. The detailed history and physical examination to be taken by the orthopedic surgeon in the diagnosis of meniscus tears give a great idea about the diagnosis. Imaging method which is frequently used in meniscus ruptures is MR.
Treatment of Meniscus Rupture
The treatment of meniscal tears in young patients is usually surgery. Analgesic drugs, physical therapy, exercises and various intra-articular injections may relieve symptoms in patients who are not considered surgery. Repair of the meniscus is the first surgical treatment option if possible, but about 20% of the menisci are stitched for repair. Thus, the damaged part is removed in most of the meniscus tears. This procedure is known as partial meniscectomy. Patients can return to normal life within 1-2 weeks with some exercises to be done at home after these operations.
Multiple Ligament Injuries and Treatment
Injury to the inner knee joint, outer lateral knee, and two or more of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments of the knee joint are termed multiple ligament injuries. Multiple ligament injuries may develop after low-energy or high-energy trauma. Low-energy injuries often occur during sports. High-energy injuries occur with traffic accidents, drowning and industrial accidents. Surgical treatment is the most common method at the earliest possible stage by experienced orthopedic specialists.
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