Knee Injury Update

This small blogging world is fantastic. I have been reading other bloggers in the physical therapy and research world. It is amazing how much incredible information is out there. Let me know if you have some blog recommendations that I should be reading. Let me get to today’s blog post on a knee injury.

Everyone Has Messed Up Knees

Speaking of one of the blogs I like to read, this one was posted on Eric Cressey’s blog.

Eric brought up some great points:

  1. Do a thorough assessment
  2. Focus on movement issues
  3. Address the movement issues before the structures, which have increased stress on them, leading to pain and injury

These are all great points and excellent ideas for future blog posts.

Let’s look at what they covered in the research.

What They Looked At

They looked at 56 knees of 28 males 14 to 15 years old with no pain or injuries (asymptomatic). One group was soccer players, and the other group was not.

They performed MRI scans on the knees of both groups and looked at the fat pad, meniscus, articular cartilage, bone marrow signal changes, and the amount of fluid in the knee.

What They Found

Of the soccer player group, 64% had some knee abnormalities when looking at the MRI, while 31% of the non-soccer group did.

Take-Home Message

  • No Pain, No Injury? – Just because the person is not in pain or the stress placed on their tissues (ligament, cartilage, tendon, muscle, bones, nerves, etc.) is at a point that the tissues can handle, it does not mean that there isn’t an injury waiting to happen.
  • Assessment of the Lower Body – With clients, you need to assess their lower bodies and identify any issues. After the evaluation, you can address any problems. One of the assessments that I do is a muscle imbalance assessment.
  • Don’t Freak Out Over MRI Results – One should not freak out when they get their MRI results. If you are active or inactive, there is a good chance that you will have knee abnormalities.
  • Preventative Exercises – Those in sports should do a dynamic warm-up that helps prepare the knee and prevent knee injuries. I go through an example in the 9 Exercises a Day Keeps Knee Pain Away workout:

Prehabilitation Before Knee Replacement Improves Strength and Function

What They Looked At

They had a group of 36 with severe osteoarthritis (OA) who were waiting for a knee replacement (knee arthroplasty). They were put into two groups. One group received the usual care, and the other got standard care and exercise.

The exercise group did a comprehensive rehabilitation program that included resistance training using bands, flexibility, and step training thrice per week for 4 to 8 weeks before knee replacement.

What They Found

The group that exercised before knee replacement improved knee strength and function.

Take-Home Message

  • Can Be Done at Home – These exercises can be done at home with very little and inexpensive equipment. Going to the gym or the clinic can be difficult for clients, but there is a benefit to doing specific exercises at home. I like that.
  • Exercise Before Surgery – Everyone is different, but if the surgeon recommends an exercise program, there is a benefit to strength and function if they start an exercise program before knee replacement surgery. Who does not want that?

I go through osteoarthritis exercises in the Exercise Rehabilitation of the Knee course:

Rick Kaselj, MS

Knee Pain Solved