The knee pain arising from a fall might indicate an intense, as opposed to a chronic, knee injury. The location of your knee pain might help your doctor determine the nature and severity of your injury. Your doctor needs to accurately detect your injury prior to she can begin treatment. While you should never self-diagnose, understanding your knee pain might help you offer your doctor with a clear overview of the injury.
Causes of Knee Pain After a Fall
Although a knee pain is typically caused by an injury to one or more of these structures, it might have another cause. Some individuals are more likely to develop knee problems than others. Lots of jobs, sports and entertainment activities, growing older, or having a disease such as osteoporosis or arthritis increase your chances of having problems with your knees.
Injuries are the most common cause of knee issues. Abrupt (acute) injuries might be caused by a direct blow to the knee or from unusual twisting, bending the knee, or falling on the knee. Pain, bruising, or swelling might be severe and develop within minutes of the injury. Nerves or capillary might be pinched or harmed during the injury. The knee or lower leg may feel numb, weak, or cold; tingle; or look pale or blue. Acute injuries include:
- Sprains, strains, or other injuries to the ligaments and tendons that link and support the kneecap.
- A tear in the rubbery cushions of the knee joint (meniscus).
- Ligament tears, such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the most typically injured ligament of the knee.
- Breaks (fracture) of the kneecap, lower portion of the thigh, or upper part of the tibia or fibula. Knee fractures are most typically caused by unusual force, such as a falling on the knee, a severe twisting movement, severe force that bends the knee, or when the knee forcefully strikes a things.
- Kneecap dislocation. This type of dislocation happens more often in 13- to 18-year-old girls.
- Pieces of bone or tissue (loose bodies) from a fracture or dislocation that might get captured in the joint and interfere with motion.
- Knee joint dislocation. This is an unusual injury that requires terrific force. It is a major injury and needs instant treatment.
The knee is mainly a hinge joint, whose main functions include flexing and straightening, or flexion and extension. The knee joint is also efficient in lateral and rotational motions. Falling may cause an exaggeration of any of these movements, which can result in tears or fractures. Physicians typically ask questions about the type of fall you experienced. Your body position when falling, the knee’s look, and the type of pain you are experiencing supplies hints to the type of injury incurred.
Your knees have four ligaments, which connect your thigh bone to your lower leg bones, the Mayo Clinic describes. Ligament injuries in a fall are characterized by instant pain that heightens when you walk or flex your knee, a popping sound, a feeling that the knee might buckle, and a failure to bear weight. A fall can also affect the meniscus, C-shaped cartilage behind the knee. Meniscus tears are defined by pain, swelling that takes place in between 24 and 26 hours after the injury and an inability to extend your knee joint.
The experts at the Family Doctor website elaborate on the symptoms connected with post-fall knee pain. A warped and swollen knee might indicate a fracture or internal ligament tear. Pain that heightens after climbing stairs or after long hours of sitting may indicate split cartilage or ligaments. Sharp pain in the back of the knee may be the symptom of a torn hamstring.
Treatment for Knee Pain After a Fall
Treatment must be specific to the pain and the injury. Your doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medication for torn cartilage, and rest, ice, compression and elevation for a torn hamstring. Tears of the medial collateral knee ligament require rest, however rarely surgery. Injuries to the anterior cruciate generally require surgical repair. Use rest, ice compression and elevation during the pre-surgical period. Physiotherapists at the Vail Valley (Colorado) Medical Center recommend that you place the pillow used for elevation under the foot, not under the knee. Placing the pillow under the knee keeps the leg in a perpetually flexed position, which might postpone the ability to extend your leg.
Many scenarios make you more susceptible to falling. Bursitis, a chronic knee injury, is often connected with overuse. The resulting swelling might modify your movement patterns, making injury-causing falls inescapable. Balance skills, which decrease with age, increase the possibility of a fall, and leg muscle imbalances may cause knee instability. Faulty sport-specific movement patterns likewise increase the likelihood of a knee injury. The Vermont Ski Safety organization, for instance, recognized potentially hazardous situations, which include skiing with the arms behind the body and attempting to stand up while still moving after a fall. Preventing injury-producing falls includes avoiding overuse, performing balance exercises, fixing leg muscle imbalances and taking part in sport-specific athletic coaching.
Knee pain after falling might indicate a serious injury, and must never ever be disregarded. Just using a brace and continuing your regular athletic activities will not make the pain disappear. Seek advice from a physician as soon as possible.