Anatomical structure of knee joint is both very simple and very complicated at the same time. Without bones, it includes many other structures, which stabilize it and allow to move correctly. Knee joints are subjected to great load during lifetime, especially, if a person works hard physical work, is an athlete or has endured traumas, dislocations, and sprains. Athletes often have damaged menisci and tendons, which stabilize the knee joint.
If the patient some time after the injury feels blocking feeling in the joint, pain during physical activities, and swelling, it means that it is not simple sprain – probably it is the injury of meniscus or tendon. If the knee is painful after the injury, and it is impossible to bend it, the problem is serious. In this case the patient may have the tear of cruciate ligament where the knee joint loses its stability. There can be fractures and damages of menisci as well, therefore in order to determine a diagnosis, it is needed to take x-ray. If the joint is very swollen, and it has some liquid or blood in it, it may be a sign of a tear of cruciate ligament – it has typical swelling in the first two hours, but if it is a tear of meniscus, the swelling can be in the second day as well.
There are patients who live with injured meniscus for years, but in that case the joint wears off accelerated. Patients like these often suffers from arthrosis. However, neglected diseases are more difficult to cure. It is recommended to visit a doctor even if the symptoms appear periodically.
The most widespread injury is the sprain of ligaments. Symptoms of sprain are pain in the area of injured ligament, subcutaneous hemorrhage, and pain during movements. The most difficult days after trauma are the first and the second day. Symptoms fully diappear only after 1,5 to 2 weeks. If the patient feels other symptoms too, for example, there is a feeling that something inside of joint interferes, then it can be a sign of some more serious trauma like fracture, tear of meniscus or cruciate ligaments, tear of lateral ligaments, or a combination of these traumas. In the case of meniscus tear the patient needs a surgery – an arthroscopy.
In the first moment after trauma it is difficult to determine its seriousness, as severe pain, edema, restriction of movements in the joint are signs both of bruise and fracture. However, the injured limb needs a peace. Battered area has to be covered with an ice or some other cooling compress. When it is possible, the patient needs to visit traumatologist – orthopaedist. If it will be necessary, a doctor can take radiographs and determine an appropriate treatment and regime.
In cases of sprains or bruises a conservative (non-surgical) treatment is used. After a visit of traumatologist – orthopaedist, treatment is usually continued at home. This treatment usually includes a peace for limb or joint, a complex of treating exercises as well as medicaments for reducing of pain, edema, and inflammation, using local or general medications. In cases of fractures, treatment is responsibility of traumatologist – orthopaedist. The type of treatment depends on the type of fracture. The treatment can be both conservative, using plaster bandages, or surgical in cases of more serious injuries.