Why does my knee swell-up like a grapefruit when I hurt it?
The fact that your knee swelled immediately after a knee injury indicates a more severe injury to the ligaments of the knee. The
swelling is the result of bleeding from the torn or injured ligaments
that fills the knee joint and can result in considerable pain. If the
pain is intense and the knee is very swollen, seek medical attention
to relieve the pressure and the pain.
Why do so many skiers and football players injure knees and
tear their anterior cruciate ligaments?
Both of these sports can
place tremendous stress on the knee. In football players, especially
running backs, the knee is injured when the player is running and
attempts to change direction or cut quickly. Also this injury occurs
when the player is tackled from the side or back when his foot is
planted on the ground and the lower leg is forced forward. Similarly,
skiers frequently have this type of injury because of the physics or
mechanics involved with having a long board strapped to your leg.
When the skier falls the body and the upper leg can twist and turn,
but the long board (ski) keeps the lower leg going one direction.
Can I return to physical activity after a repair of my ACL?
Yes. Fortunately, with modern surgical techniques, almost all
patients can return to their pre-injury level of activity. This is
easier said than done. Much of the success depends on the patient's
willingness to stick to a rehabilitation program that will be
outlined by your surgeon and physical therapist.
What happens if I tear or injure my ACL and don't want to have
Surgery is not for everybody, and doesn't need to be. If you are a recreational athlete and do not participate in sports that
require a lot of twisting and turning, you should have few problems
returning to activity after a rehabilitation program to strengthen
the muscles that help stabilize the knee. The use of a knee brace for
more strenuous activities may also allow participation without having
to undergo surgery.
What can I do to prevent knee injuries in the future?
there is no way to completely protect you from a knee injury, these
guidelines should be helpful. When starting any physical activity,
start slowly and work up to your desired level of activity. As you
become more involved in a sport, consider going to your local health
club and ask for training tips to strengthen the muscles and joints
most often injured in your sport. Always participate at a level
consistent with your level of skill and conditioning. Most injuries
occur when you exceed you limits.