Minor sprains can heal fairly quickly with the help of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication. More serious sprains and ruptures may take a long time to heal and recover; the knee will need to be rested for a long period of time; a person with a serious ligament injury may also be advised to use crutches to prevent the knee from having to bear weight; this will allow the joint time to heal and prevent further damage. Physiotherapy will help to speed up recovery and increase strength and flexibility around the affected ligament.
Dislocations can either affect the kneecap of the joint itself. Commonly, dislocations are caused by a sudden change of direction or the knee twisting while the foot is still planted on the ground.
This is commonly known as a dislocated kneecap. The kneecap becomes displaced and the area will generally swell and be very painful. Usually, the kneecap can be slipped back into place fairly easily. Once the kneecap has been returned to its original position, the area should be treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication. The knee joint should be given time to recover before the individual starts to exercise again.
Knee joint dislocation
This form of dislocation is rare and affects the whole of the knee joint. This condition occurs when the bottom of the femur loses contact with the top of the tibia. The ligaments in and around the knee joint will suffer significant damage if the knee is dislocated; often both the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are affected, which can be a very serious and debilitating injury. Knee dislocations are commonly caused by high impact contact or falls. This injury may require surgery to repair the ligaments and re-set the joint. Recovery from a knee dislocation will take several weeks and will require the knee being immobilized. Once the healing process has started, physiotherapy will help to gradually increase movement in the area and strengthen the muscles and tissues surrounding the knee joint.
Rotator cuff strains
Rotator cuff strains can usually be treated with rest, ice and a combination of analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications. Minor strains will usually heal quickly if the shoulder is rested sufficiently. During the healing process, light exercises will help to build up strength in the shoulder and gradually increase movement in the joint.
Fractured clavicle (collarbone)
The affected arm will usually be placed in a sling to prevent movement in the shoulder joint which would apply pressure to the fractured collarbone; this will allow the fracture time to heal. Once the fracture has started to heal, physiotherapy and light exercises will help to gradually build strength around the affected area and increase the range of movement in the shoulder and neck. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication will help to reduce swelling.
The ball of the shoulder joint will first need to be inserted back into the socket. Once this has been done, the affected arm will usually be immobilized by using a sling; some dislocations will require a splint; this depends on the nature of the dislocation. Commonly, the connective tissue surrounding the joint will be damaged when the shoulder is dislocated; these injuries will take time to heal and will require a long period of rest. Physiotherapy will help to improve movement and strengthen the muscles and connective tissue in the shoulder joint.