The knee pain that develops after a fall can indicate an acute knee injury. The position of the knee pain can be used to determine the nature and severity of the injury sustained. The doctor will diagnose the injury before the appropriate treatment options are given.
The knee is a hinge joint that is responsible for bending and straightening. The knee joint is also capable of performing lateral and rotational movements. If the individual falls, it can exaggerate these movements which results to fractures or tears. The body position during the fall, type of knee pain and appearance of the knee can provide clues to the type of injury sustained.
Injuries to the ligaments during a fall is characterized by immediate pain that worsens when the individual walks or bends the knee, feeling that the knee will buckle, popping sound and inability to support weight. A fall can also involve the meniscus which is a C-shaped cartilage at the rear part of the knee. Tears on the meniscus are characterized by swelling and pain that occurs after 24 hours the injury was sustained as well as inability to extend the knee joint.
Identifying knee pain after a fall
Aside from the knee pain, other accompanying symptoms such as swollen or deformed knee can indicate an internal ligament tear or fracture. If the pain intensifies after long hours of sitting or climbing the stairs, it indicates a torn ligament or cartilage. As for piercing pain in the rear of the knee, it can indicate a torn hamstring.
How to manage knee pain after a fall
Always bear in mind that the treatment must be specific to the knee pain and injury sustained. In most cases, the doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications for a torn cartilage. As for a torn hamstring, the treatment involves rest, application of ice, compression and elevation. If you want to learn the appropriate measures to perform, click here.
Tears on the medial collateral knee ligament can be treated with rest but rare cases would require surgery. Injuries on the anterior cruciate would require surgery. After the surgery, the treatment involves rest, compression of ice and elevation.
Several scenarios can make an individual prone to falls. Bursitis which is a chronic injury to the knee is often linked with overuse. The swelling that occurs can alter the movement pattern, thus increasing the risk for falls.
Incorrect techniques while playing sports can also increase the risk for knee injury, thus causing knee pain. When skiing, if the arms are placed behind the body or attempting to stand up while still moving after a fall, these can increase the risk for falls. The individual should engage in balance exercises, participating in sport-specific coaching and correcting imbalances in the leg muscle.
Consideration to bear in mind
The knee pain that occurs after falling can indicate a serious injury and must not be ignored. Even the application of a brace and continuing regular athletic activities will not eliminate the pain. Once knee pain occurs, a doctor must be consulted as soon as possible.