Do you slouch while you sit at your office desk or are you an excessive couch potato while channel browsing? Either way you could be a victim of potential knee injury. About one in three people who are over the age of 40 experience knee discomfort at some point. In the UK, there are a large number of people under the age of 50 that are undergoing knee replacements.
There are many types of knee injuries and conditions, which can be treated successfully by Physiotherapy. Below, there are 7 simple steps a Physiotherapist will take to determine whether you are suffering from a knee injury or osteoporosis.
1. Overview of Your Medical History:
Your physiotherapist will begin by asking questions about your medical history such as whether the injury is acute or chronic, where it is, how long have you been experiencing it and other related questions to determine the severity of your pain
2. Physical Exam
Once your Physiotherapist has noted the medical history, he/she will continue with a physical exam, which will determine the areas where you are experiencing pain. By examining your knee and focusing on certain pressure points, they will be able to determine whether the pain is originating from a bone problem or a ligament problem. By feeling the area and applying slight pressure, they can narrow down the source of your pain.
In case your Physiotherapist is uncertain about their findings through the medical history and physical exam, they will recommend an X-ray. Sometimes you might hide crucial information from your Physiotherapy provider but they will be able to trace it in an X-ray. It uses significant amounts of radiation to replicate an image of your bones and joints. Through an X-ray your therapist will be able to determine if the knee injury has been caused by a bone problem such as a fracture.
4. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
As X-rays are unable to display problems existing in body tissues like muscles and ligaments, for this there is MRI. It uses magnetic energy to study the areas around the injury and shows the reason for the pain. If you believe that MRIs increase the risk for leukaemia and other cancers then you can rest assured that it does not emit any radiation of any kind.
If your Physiotherapy provider is still unable to determine the source, another popular method to diagnose knee injuries is through ultrasound. An ultrasound uses sound waves to inspect the bursa, which is the fluid-filled cavity inside the knee. If there is a substantial collection or tears of muscles, the ultrasound will be able to find it. Ultrasounds are also helpful in order to detect excessive fluid around the knee.
6. Radionuclide Bone Scan
For complex matters, your Physiotherapy provider might suggest a bone scan, which will identify potential cysts, tumours and other abnormalities. A harmless radioactive substance called technetium is injected in your body through your bloodstream. The substance is then scanned for results, which explains the reasons behind your injury.
The final method to determine the injury is by conducting an arthroscopy. It is a surgical procedure where the surgeon makes a small incision in your knee and inserts an arthroscope. This pencil-sized instrument is equipped with a magnifying lens, which has a light and a camera attached to it. Images from the camera are displayed on a screen, which helps the surgical doctor see inside your knee.