Part 1: How do I make a strong comeback after a knee injury?
The knee joint is one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body. Knee injuries are extremely common for athletes in all sports. Ligament sprains, which are the most common injuries, can occur in 3 different ways: a stretch, a partial tear or a complete rupture. Sometimes, an athlete may even have the combination of several torn ligaments and a teared meniscus. In some cases, the healing process is fast and requires no surgery. However, in most cases, the athlete will have to opt for a knee reconstruction, especially if the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is affected. Obtaining an MRI may take months in the public service, in addition to the wait time for an operation date. While waiting for this, rehabilitation is crucial in order to regain strength, complete knee mobility and reduce inflammation, surgery or not. Before I introduce my knee rehabilitation program, here is a little bit of anatomy ...
THE ANATOMY OF THE KNEE
Essentially, the knee structure helps connect the leg to the thigh. This attachment consists of:
- 3 bones;
- the femur
- the patella (knee cap)
- the tibia
- 2 menisci;
- 4 ligaments;
- anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
- medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- 3 majors muscle groups;
The menisci act as a sponge and as a shock absorber between the femur and the tibia. The 2 cruciate ligaments (ACL & PCL) help for the stability of the joint for forward and backward sliding, while the 2 collateral ligaments (LCL & MCL) help the stability of the joint for left to right sliding. In addition, the 3 muscle groups around the knee must be strong to support this complex joint. In fact, if one (or more) of the ligaments suffers a trauma, the knee becomes unstable and this will have an impact on your daily activities: walking, going up or down stairs, sitting on a chair or on the ground, getting into your car, etc.
*** Part 2 of this blog will be out tomorrow. You will find warm-up exercises that will allow you to acquire your range of motion in the knee joint. ***