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14 year old softball player – she was running bases on uneven ground and took a fall. She said that her knee just gave out. She’s got pain around the front of the knee at the base of the kneecap and lots of swelling right now in front and behind the knee. We’ve just been to the the Airostti doctor. He said her ACL and MCL are good and strong. He’s diagnosed a knee sprain and possible menisucs damage. He is hopeful that it is just a knee sprain at this point but is not ruling out meniscus damage because of where her pain is right now but she was able to pass the Thessaly test as well as a few other menisucs tests he did. She has trouble straightening her knee completely but describes the pain as tight (not necessarily painful). Bending the knee is no problem. She has several tight trigger points in her lower hamstring, quads and calf where the popliteus muscle attaches. The Airostti doctor prescribed ice and working on getting the inflammation down along with foam rolling the quads and hamstrings, glute bridges and passive leg raises attempting to straighten the leg. If she is not showing improvement, we will be referred for an MRI.
Questions: Any good MWOD’s we can add to the treatment plan to help her heal? If we are looking at meniscus damage, what’s the best way to approach that? What are good ways to manage inflammation and swelling besides ice? She plays catcher. When she took on that position, I did tons of research on how to protect her knees and ACL. Learned all about the female Q-angle and we added preventive exercises to help injury proof her knees. I’m not sure any amount of injury proofing would have prevented this. It was just a crazy combination of factors. But what would be some good suggestions going forward for knee strength in female athletes?
Unfortunately we cannot always prevent these types of injuries from occurring. This is the nature of sports, and there is an inherent risk of getting injured. However, that doesn’t mean that paying attention to how we train and woking on our positions can’t help mitigate that risk. Working on single leg stuff and landing drills are great for working on hip and ankle control. When performing these exercises and drills being able to identify and train a solid foot without letting the foot collapse is pivotal. Paying attention to things like ankle and hip range of motion can be an important factor as well.
K-star has some great videos on this topic!
Hope that helps!