In recent years, the general public became more aware of the health benefits reaped from physical activity. With an increase in physical activity amongst individuals who participate in regular exercise and sports, many of them are also engaging sports competitively. Participation in sports increases one's risk being injured. To cater for the special needs of the active population, NUHS institutions do have clinical services to include sports medicine. The Sports Medicine teams usually include sports physicians, sports orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists, dedicated to support all competitive athletes and active individuals in achieving their sports and fitness goals. They are also strong advocates for safe sports through prevention and early management of injury.
The meniscal tear can be diagnosed in one of three ways:
A collateral ligament injury is felt on the inner or outer portions of the knee. A collateral ligament injury is often associated with local tenderness over the area of the ligament involved.
A cruciate ligament injury is felt deep within the knee. It is sometimes noticed with a "popping" sensation with the initial trauma. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee, especially in sports such as basketball and football. The ACL stabilises the knee for cutting, twisting and jumping and pivoting activity. The anterior cruciate ligament is in the centre of the knee joint. When you tear an ACL, you will often feel or hear a pop, feel the knee shift out of place and develop significant swelling in just a few hours. A ligament injury to the knee is usually painful at rest and may be swollen and warm. The pain usually worsens if one bends, puts weight on the knee or walks. The severity of the injury can vary from mild (minor stretching or tearing of the ligament fibres, such as a low grade sprain) to severe (complete tear of the ligament fibers). Patients can have more than one area injured in a single traumatic event.
Ligament injuries are initially treated with ice packs and immobilisation, with rest and elevation. We generally recommend that patients avoid bearing weight on the injured joint, and use crutches for walking, if necessary. Some patients are placed in splints or braces to immobilise the joint to reduce the pain and promote healing. Arthroscopic or open surgery may be necessary to repair severe injuries.Surgical repair of ligaments can involve suturing alone, grafting, and synthetic graft repair. These procedures can be done by either open knee surgery or arthroscopic surgery. The type of surgery depends on the level of damage to the ligaments and the activity expectations of the patient. Many repairs can now be done arthroscopically. However, certain severe injuries will require an open surgical repair. Reconstruction procedures for cruciate ligaments are increasingly successful with current surgical techniques.