We have extensive experience in the treatment and rehabilitation and preventative management for knee pain and injuries.
Below provides a list of common the most common knee conditions. Each patient requires an individual assessment to determine the exact type of injury, it’s causes and any rehabilitation program required. During an appointment with either a Doctor or a Physio you can expect the following assessment questions:
History of the pain, including location, severity, referred pain, things that make the pain worse or better.
The common conditions below and the associated information have been produced as a guide only. They do not replace the judgement of a clinician. The below information should never be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the particular circumstances of each patient. Patients should consult with an appropriate clinician as soon as practicable post injury to avoid complications.
An ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate (KROO-she-ate) ligament (ACL) — one of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction, jumping and landing — such as soccer, basketball, football and downhill skiing.
Many people hear or feel a "pop" in the knee when an ACL injury occurs. Your knee may swell, feel unstable and become too painful to bear weight.
Depending on the severity of your ACL injury, treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help you regain strength and stability or surgery to replace the torn ligament followed by rehabilitation. A proper training program may help reduce the risk of an ACL injury.
Rest. General rest is necessary for healing and limits weight bearing on your knee.
Ice. When you're awake, try to ice your knee at least every two hours for 20 minutes at a time.
Compression. Wrap an elastic bandage or compression wrap around your knee.
Elevation. Lie down with your knee propped up on pillows.
Medical treatment for an ACL injury begins with several weeks of rehabilitative therapy. A physiotherapist will teach you how to do exercises that you will perform either with continued supervision or at home. You may also wear a brace to stabilize your knee and use crutches for a while to avoid putting weight on your knee.
The goal of rehabilitation is to reduce pain and swelling, restore your knee's full range of motion, and strengthen muscles. This course of treatment may successfully treat an ACL injury for individuals who are relatively inactive, engage in moderate exercise and recreational activities, or play sports that put less stress on the knees.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if:
You're an athlete and want to continue in your sport, especially if the sport involves jumping, cutting or pivoting
More than one ligament or the meniscus in your knee is also injured
The injury is causing your knee to buckle during everyday activities
During ACL reconstruction, the surgeon removes the damaged ligament and replaces it with a segment of tendon — tissue similar to a ligament that connects muscle to bone. This replacement tissue is called a graft.
Your surgeon will use a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or a tendon from a deceased donor.
After surgery you'll resume another course of rehabilitative treatment. Successful ACL reconstruction paired with rigorous rehabilitation can usually restore stability and function to your knee.
There's no set time frame for athletes to return to play. Recent research indicates that up to one-third of athletes sustain another tear in the same or opposite knee within two years. A longer recovery period may reduce the risk of reinjury.
In general, it takes as long as a year or more before athletes can safely return to play. Doctors and physiotherapists will perform tests to gauge your knee's stability, strength, function and readiness to return to sports activities at various intervals during your rehabilitation. It's important to ensure that strength, stability and movement patterns are optimized before you return to an activity with a risk for ACL injury.
A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.
Each of your knees has two menisci — C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. You also might feel a block to knee motion and have trouble extending your knee fully.
Conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and medication — is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. In other cases, however, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair.
Treatment for a torn meniscus often begins conservatively, depending on the type, size and location of your tear.
Tears associated with arthritis usually improve over time with treatment of the arthritis, so surgery usually isn't indicated. Many other tears that aren't associated with locking or a block to knee motion will become less painful over time, so they also don't require surgery.
Your doctor or physio might recommend:
Avoid activities that aggravate your knee pain, especially any activity that causes you to twist, rotate or pivot your knee. If your pain is severe, using crutches can take pressure off your knee and promote healing.
Ice can reduce knee pain and swelling. Use a cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables or a towel filled with ice cubes for about 15 minutes at a time, keeping your knee elevated. Do this every four to six hours the first day or two, and then as often as needed.
Over-the-counter pain relievers also can help ease knee pain.
Physiotherapy can help you strengthen the muscles around your knee and in your legs to help stabilize and support the knee joint.
If your knee remains painful despite rehabilitative therapy or if your knee locks, your doctor might recommend surgery. It's sometimes possible to repair a torn meniscus, especially in children and young adults.
If the tear can't be repaired, the meniscus might be surgically trimmed, possibly through tiny incisions using an arthroscope. After surgery, you will need to do exercises to optimize knee strength and stability.
Knee bursitis is inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac (bursa) situated near your knee joint. Bursae reduce friction and cushion pressure points between your bones and the tendons, muscles and skin near your joints.
Any of the bursa in your knee can become inflamed, but knee bursitis most commonly occurs over the kneecap or on the inner side of your knee below the joint.
Knee bursitis causes pain and can limit your mobility. Treatment for knee bursitis often includes a combination of self-care practices and doctor-administered treatments to alleviate pain and inflammation.
Bursitis often improves over time, so treatment is usually aimed at symptom relief. However, depending on the cause of your knee bursitis and which bursa is infected, your doctor might recommend one or more treatment approaches.
If an infection has caused the knee bursitis, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotic treatment.
Your doctor might refer you to a physiotherapist who can help you improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. This therapy might alleviate pain and reduce your risk of recurring episodes of knee bursitis. Protective knee braces might help if you can't avoid kneeling, and compressive knee sleeves can help reduce swelling.
Surgical and other procedures
More-invasive treatments for knee bursitis treatment include:
Corticosteroid injection. If the bursitis is persistent and not responding to basic treatments, your doctor might inject a corticosteroid drug into an affected bursa to reduce inflammation. The inflammation usually subsides rapidly, but you might have pain and swelling from the injection for a couple of days.
Aspiration. Your doctor might aspirate a bursa to reduce excess fluid and treat inflammation. He or she will insert a needle into the affected bursa and draw fluid into the syringe. Aspiration might cause short-term pain and swelling, and you might need to wear a knee immobilizer for a short period after the injection to reduce the chance of recurrent swelling.
Surgery. If you have severe chronic or recurrent bursitis and don't respond to other treatments, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove the bursa.