Knee Injury (cont.)
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Knee Injury Treatment
Almost all knee injuries will need more than one visit to the doctor. If no operation is indicated, then RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) with some strengthening exercises and perhaps physical therapy will be needed. Sometimes the decision for surgery is delayed to see if the RICE and physical therapy will be effective. Each injury is unique, and treatment decisions depend on what the expectation for function will be. As an example, a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) would usually require surgery in a young athlete or a construction worker, but the ACL may be treated non-operatively with physical therapy in an 80-year-old who is not very active.
With the technology available, many knee injuries that require surgery can be treated surgically with an arthroscope, in which a camera is used and small punctures are made in the knee to insert instruments. Patients usually begin their post-op rehabilitation within days of the surgery.
If there is no rush to operate, then opportunity exists to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles beforehand. When a joint like the knee is injured, the muscles around it start to weaken almost immediately. This is also true after the surgery, which can also be considered a further injury. Strong muscles in the pre-operative state allow the potential for easier post-operative therapy.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2014
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