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Treatment of knee joint injuries

The knee joint is the largest joint in the human body. Located as it is between the two longest bones of the body (the thigh bone and the shin bone), it is susceptible to injuries. In the knee joint, there are two meniscus (an inner and an outer one). These function as padding or ‘shock absorbers’ between the bones. Four ligaments keep the joint stable. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is, together with the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, the most commonly injured ligament of the knee. 

ACL injuries can cause pain, knee failure symptoms, swelling and knee laxity. The knee is most commonly injured during sports such as ball games, snowboarding or martial arts. Knee injuries can also occur when a person misses a step or slips, or even at home. Some knee injuries are also caused by overstraining.

Our specialists in knee and sports injuries determine the exact cause of the problem and carefully examine the knee by feeling, bending and gently twisting it. In many cases, X-rays are needed. These can be taken during the same appointment. An MRI scan can reveal the underlying cause of the symptoms, e.g. meniscus, cartilage or ligament damage. In many cases, the problem can be diagnosed and the treatment planned during the first visit.

Mild and temporary pain does not usually require any action, but pain that is bad enough to cause a limp as well as other symptoms such as swelling, movement restriction, locked knee or knee failure should be investigated and treated. Elevation, ice packs and anti-inflammatory painkillers can be used to relieve the initial swelling and pain. In the case of some injuries, the situation can be monitored for a couple of weeks before any further action is taken. Some injuries require surgical treatment, for instance keyhole surgery.

Rehabilitation is an important part of the treatment of knee injuries. After the operation, the patient is given detailed instructions and guidance on how to move correctly and safely. In some cases, special types of rehabilitation, such as aquatic physiotherapy, are used in cooperation with a physiotherapist.