VOLLEYBALL KNEE INJURIES

Your volleyball knee injury could stem from a number of causes.

The thing about volleyball is that the game can be played anywhere one can put up a net. People play volleyball on the beach, in the park, or in the gym. Athletes young and old play this game.

Knee injuries frequently occur in volleyball players because they are always jumping or colliding with other players. Some people sustain knee injuries participating in high school volleyball and other people play well into their life before they twist their knee in a bad way.

If misfortune strikes you and you sustain a volleyball knee injury Advanced Knee Care can help. What comes next? What does it take to get you back on the court?
You are on the web looking for answers to these and other questions. You have come to the right place. Read the following details to learn more about getting back in the game.

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TORN ACL (ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT)

A volleyball knee injury that causes the knee to twist or bend too far, are accompanied by a pop or two, hurt a lot, swell up fast, and drop you to the court. This is almost always due to a complete tear of the ACL, the most important knee ligament. ACL tears are a major knee injury that should be evaluated within the week by an Orthopedic Surgeon (do not squander your effort or money with urgent care or ER).

Treatment For A Torn ACL anterior-cruciate-ligamentknee doctors usually diagnose ACL tears based on history, physical exam and normal knee x-rays. Most often, the knee is not “too swollen” to examine. Physical findings in a knee with an acute ACL tear include large hemarthrosis, limited flexion and extension, positive lachman test (see image at right), and medial or lateral joint line tenderness. MRI scan (3T high resolution preferred) will confirm the tear and delineate associated injury such as lateral bone bruise, meniscal tear, and condition of the 3 other knee ligaments.

Initial treatment includes RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), crutches, +/- knee brace and exercises to regain full knee motion. If a knee is markedly swollen the blood is drained from the knee at the time of the first office visit to diminish knee pain. Aleve or Advil are advised. Sometimes narcotic pain pills are needed.

All athletes require surgical reconstruction of a torn ACL resulting from a volleyball knee injury. Return to volleyball is variable, usually 6 months to 1 year, sometimes with a protective knee brace. Here is a detailed surgical explanation on how we treat a torn ACL whether from a volleyball knee injury or any other kind of knee injury.

MCL (MEDIAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT)

Medial Collateral Ligament tear is a simple sprain that occurs frequently in volleyball players. These volleyball knee injuries heal in 4-8 weeks and do not require prolonged bracing or surgery. Self directed exercises or formal physical therapy is the cornerstone of treatment. This injury is treated at Urgent Care, Primary Care or an Orthopedic Surgeon. An MCL sprain occurs from a moderate, excessive twist or blow to the outside of the knee. No pop, pain not severe, mild to no swelling, and often times volleyball players can still finish the game. You may need to use crutches and a knee brace for a few days or possibly not and a physical exam will be mostly normal with tenderness localized over the ligament on the medial knee. X-ray is normal, MRI is optional or not needed. Return to volleyball without limitations or residual and no brace is expected in 1-3 months, depending on severity of sprain.

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MENISCAL TEAR

Meniscal tears do not prevent a volleyball player from playing volleyball but due to the knee pain with twisting or squatting and swelling of the knee the players performance will be compromised. Eventually a volleyball player tires of knee pain while playing volleyball and visits a knee surgeon for arthroscopic surgery to fix the problem. For healthy players under age 55 surgery is curative and return is 1-4 weeks without limitation or future knee problems.

KNEE CAP DISLOCATION (PATELLAR INSTABILITY)

What causes kneecap dislocation while playing volleyball? This knee injury is the least common of the 4 injuries detailed in this report. Kneecap (patella) dislocation, or patellar subluxation, occurs when the triangle-shaped bone covering the knee (patella) moves out of place. This is a common occurrence in young athletes, especially female volleyball players.

Most commonly, the kneecap (patella) dislocates due to a twisting stress to the knee. However, the injury can also occur because of direct contact. If a sudden twisting movement or rapid change in direction occurs, the stress to the knee can cause the kneecap to shift out of place. For example, if a player suddenly changes directions, the force can lead to patellar subluxation or dislocation.

This injury should be treated by a knee surgeon. Treatment is highly variable dependent on many factors. Physical therapy, bracing, and surgery are all options depending on the frequency and severity of the problem. Successful treatment allows volleyball players to return to the court.

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