The knee joint is extremely vulnerable to acute injury from activities such as skiing and football when either the meniscus (footballer’s cartilage) or ligaments may be torn. Repetitive strain injuries are also common in runners and endurance athletes.
Some of these injuries may settle with physiotherapy and rehabilitation once the diagnosis has been established with MRI scans and X-rays.
If symptoms persist or regularly recur, an arthroscopy (telescopic keyhole surgery) may be required to confirm the diagnosis and repair the damage. This usually requires a general anaesthetic, a day in hospital and 1-2 weeks recovery to get back to a normal sedentary job. Ligament reconstruction may require an overnight stay and a longer recovery depending on the severity of the injury.