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How do knee problems arise?
Knee problems can develop slowly but also be present suddenly after a fall or an accident. In our practice we often see sports injuries. For example, you can twist your knee on the football pitch or incur problems through contact with your opponent. We often see swelling of the knee. This usually indicates injury within the joint. Climbing stairs and doing simple things like getting up from a chair can already cause problems at that point. The following knee complaints are common in our practice.
Cruciate ligament injury
There are two cruciate ligaments in the knee. These are the anterior and the posterior cruciate ligaments. Both cruciate ligaments are important for the stability of the knee. For this reason, when a cruciate ligament is torn, you may feel an unreliable feeling in the knee. You seem to go through it. Often a cruciate ligament tears during sport. Your knee swells within a short period of time and it is difficult to support it. The tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament is generally much more common than the tearing of the posterior cruciate ligament.
Symptoms of a cruciate ligament injury:
- The knee swells up almost immediately
- The knee can no longer be fully extended or it is extremely difficult and painful to extend the knee
- The knee is painful
- You feel like you're sinking through the knee
The meniscus serves as an extra layer of protection between your upper and lower leg and allows you to move the knee smoothly. An injury to the meniscus can occur spontaneously or through aging. Just as we develop grey hair and wrinkles, our body also ages on the inside. A meniscus injury during sport is generally the result of a twisting of the knee. During this twisting, damage may also occur to the anterior cruciate ligament. In recent years, surgery is being chosen less and less frequently and active rehabilitation is the best choice. Should the symptoms persist for a longer period of time or should there be lockout complaints, whereby the knee enters a certain position from which it cannot be extricated, then further examination is necessary.
Symptoms of a meniscus injury:
- The knee is painful
- The knee can no longer bend and/or extend properly
- Deep squatting gives rise to complaints
- There's fluid in the knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee
Osteoarthritis symptoms become more frequent as we age. The risk of osteoarthritis is increased by, for example, a bone fracture around or in the joint. Also when part of the meniscus has been removed in the past, we see that osteoarthritis occurs faster in the knee.
Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis:
- Starting stiffness, especially in the morning
- Pain around the knee
- Moisture in the knee
Complaints around the kneecap
At the front of the knee runs the quadriceps tendon. This muscle stretches the knee and ensures that the kneecap stays in place. This tendon can become irritated when overburdened. The symptoms are usually just below the kneecap and can cause an unpleasant feeling when you strain this muscle. We see these complaints most often in sports like volleyball and basketball where there is a lot of jumping. Hence, this complaint is also called a Jumpers Knee.
Symptoms of a Jumpers knee:
- Pain at the front of the knee
- Startup complaints
- Pain when climbing stairs
- Pressure under the kneecap causes symptoms
Physiotherapy and knee problems
During the examination we will look at the possible cause of your knee pain. Especially with knee problems it is necessary to get a good picture of the complaints. The interview together with additional orthopaedic tests will provide a clear physiotherapeutic diagnosis. On the basis of this examination, a clear treatment plan will be drawn up. We find it very important that you understand how possible complaints arise and what you can take into account to recover as quickly as possible from your complaints! Besides specific advice, the treatment can consist of increasing the mobility by means of manual therapy, various muscle techniques and muscle training by means of exercise therapy and strength training. With some knee complaints a longer rehabilitation is necessary, especially when the goal is to be able to perform your sport with full conviction again.