The knee is one of the largest and most complicated joints in the body utilised for everything involving movement from standing, sitting to walking and running. It’s a weight bearing joint that bends, straightens, twists and rotates and takes a lot of impact and is exposed by having muscles largely acting across it (quads, hamstrings & calfs) but not many acting on it.
All these degrees of motion increase the risk of acute and overuse injuries. Problems in the knee can arise as a result of a one off incident, for example a twisting injury, or a gradual build up, for example during running as a result of biomechanical issues that can be away from the knee itself.
Injuries to the ligaments and cartilage of the knee are commonly associated with contact sports whereas overuse injuries (which can occur at all ages) often involve irritation of structures at the front of the knee, for example the knee cap or tendon. Osteoarthritis (OA), a condition associated with cartilage degeneration and loss within the knee joint, is more common in the older population.
Acute injuries require gradual rehabilitation back to full fitness, whilst overuse injuries often need specific muscle balance and biomechanical issues addressed. OA can be successfully managed with treatment, including specific exercise/strengthening regimes. If necessary we can refer to a knee specialist, many of whom we work closely with, not least after surgery.