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Knee Injury Self Treatment

Colin Walker FRCS- Sports knee surgeon

Bill Leach FRCS- Sports knee surgeon

Frank Gilroy MCSP- Physiotherapy advisor

These exercise are a practical self treatment programme but should only be progressed after you have a medical diagnosis of a simple knee injury. If your pain persists or increases, seem specialist advice.

In The First 48 Hours

In the early stages after injuring your knee you may have some pain and swelling. This is to be expected and will improve with rest, application of ice and gentle exercise

In the first 48 hours after injury, we recommend:

-Rest your knee frequently during the first 48 hours

-Ice limits the swelling following an injury
-Apply ice to knee 4-5 times aa day for 10-20 minutes, using a pack of frozen peas or cubes of ice wrapped in a damp towel or tea towel

N.B. Do not apply ice directly onto skin as it can burn

-Wearing a tubegrip pr bandage during the day is beneficial but always remove it at night

-Keep leg elevated when you are not walking, supporting your heel on pillows or cushions. Try to keep your heel above your hip

– Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be bought at the chemist or supermarket. Always check the label before use.

Post Injury 48 Hours

It is important to regain the movement and strength in your knee as soon as possible. This will prevent stiffness in the future.

These exercises should be started as soon as possible.

Exercise 1
-Bend and straighten your hip and knee by sliding your foot.

Exercise 2
-With your legs straight, pull your toes back towards you and push your knee down onto the floor.

Do this 10 times, 4 times a day.

Exercise 3
-Lying on your back, tighten your thigh muscles and straighten your knee. Lift your straight leg 4-5 inches off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.

Exercise 4
-Sit on a chair with your knees bent. Straighten your knee out. Hold it straight then slowly lower it back down again.

Do this 10 times, 4 times a day.

-As the exercises get easier, you can increase the number of times you repeat them.
-Continue to take pain killers if you need them

-Try to walk as normally as possible without limping, even if you are using crutches. Begin by walking short distances and gradually increase the distance as pain allows

Prevention of recurrance
-Maintain your recovery by continuing with the exercises on the sheet and keeping active with regualr walking, swimming, cycling or other activities.

Syptoms resolved-How quickly will symptoms resolve?
Simple knee sprains will normally resolve with these exercises in 8-12 weeks.

However, if symptoms persist or pain increases, please seek specialist advice.