What’s your injury?

Lower Limb

Here are some common problems of the lower limb. Do any of these sound like your pain?

acute knee pain

Acute Knee Medial Ligament Injury

Where? Inner surface of the knee.

Difficulties: Bending the leg, running, walking.

Possible diagnosis: Medial ligament injury.

Cause: Twisting force, force from the outside of the knee directed inwards.

Treatment: Ice, friction, ultrasound, strengthening.

ligament rupture damage

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Where? Within the joint.

Difficulties: Swelling, unable to stand with straight leg, occasions of instability.

Possible diagnosis: Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture.

Cause: Trauma to the joint.

Treatment: Reduce swelling, restore range of motion, surgery, strengthening.

knee cartilage tear

Knee Cartilage Tear

Where? Inside the knee or at the edges of the joint.

Difficulties: Catching or locking, often when walking on stairs.

Possible diagnosis: Cartilage Tear.

Cause: Twisting injury, not always noticeable immediately.

Treatment: Often requires surgery, it is important to be assessed by a physiotherapist and if cartilage appears to be the problem referral can be arranged for a scan and consultant appointment.

non acute knee pain

Non Acute Knee (Patello-femoral pain)

Where? Front of the knee/kneecap.

Difficulties: Prolonged sitting e.g. at cinema/car journeys, relief with straightening of the knee, can be grating or audible creaking with deep squat.

Possible diagnosis: Patello-femoral pain.

Cause: Endurance exercise i.e. running/cycling or repetitive motion of the leg e.g. frequently squatting or up and down stairs at work. Due to overload or biomechanical imbalance.

Treatment: Stretching and massage to muscles of the thigh and gluteal area combined with activity modification.

non acute knee pain patella tendonitis

Non Acute Knee (Patella tendonitis)

Where? Front of knee below kneecap.

Difficulties: Climbing or descending stairs.

Possible diagnosis: Patella tendonitis.

Cause: Jumping e.g. basketball, long jump, volleyball, hurdles, kneeling.

Treatment: Friction massage, activity modification, gradual strengthening.

shin splints

Lower Leg Pain (Shins)

Where? Shins.

Difficulties: Running, walking.

Possible diagnosis: Periostitis (Shin Splints).

Cause: Training injury involving running/jumping. Normally due to biomechanical factors i.e. shape of feet/legs. Irritation occurs at the bone-tendon junction along the length of the shin.

Treatment: Rest, soft tissue therapy, orthotics, correction of muscle imbalance.

calf injury

Lower Leg Pain (Calf Muscles)

Where? Calf Muscles.

Difficulties: Running, walking.

Possible diagnosis: Compartment syndrome.

Cause: Metabolic demands during exercise cause extra fluid and swelling in the deep compartment of the leg, whilst the sheath enveloping the compartment does not expand accordingly. Causes accumulation of pressure with potential effects on nerve and vascular tissue.

Treatment: Rest, stretch, deep tissue massage, surgery if severe.