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Getting to know knee injuries

Nedi Putra AW

The Jakarta Post

Malang, East Java  /  Sat, October 27, 2018  /  08:25 pm
Getting to know knee injuries

Knee injuries could take months to heal, with the ideal period to get back to normal being around nine months to a year, depending on the condition of each patient. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)

Doctors strongly advise against underestimating a knee injury, as delaying proper treatment can have permanent consequences. 

Orthopedic doctor Edi Mumtamsir during a recent seminar in Malang, East Java, explained that one of the most common knee injuries was an anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) sprain, which is a tear or a break of the ligament in the knee. He added that the ACL itself was a bone binding network in the joint that is located in the middle of the knee.

"This can happen to anyone, but is more common in athletes, both professional and recreational," Edi said. 

Edi explained that based on statistics, 50 to 60 cases of ACL injury occurred in every 100,000 inhabitants, mostly as a result of a non-contact injury. Causes include very hard impacts such as landing from jumping in the wrong position or falling while exercising. 

An ACL tear cannot heal on its own, so it needs comprehensive multidisciplinary handling even though it is not an emergency case.

Orthopedic doctor Krisna Yuarno added that comprehensive treatment was needed in case of such injuries, because of the extensive healing process necessary to heal. 

"Even if you have to have surgery, it's only 50 percent of the process, the rest is rehabilitation," Krisna said. 

The most common case is that pain disappears after the initial treatment, for example by a massage, so sufferers subsequently continue to move, which actually makes the injury worse.

"This rehabilitation or recovery process is important, especially for professional athletes who usually keep competing even though it is clear they have an ACL injury," he added.

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Krisna explained the need for establishing a common perspective and mindset about knee injuries, especially among team coaches. Not all professional sports clubs would understand the nature of the injury, he added. 

"If forced, it would only reduce the quality of the performance in the future, or even make the injury permanent. It would be best to give it a rest so the athlete would be able to return to the initial performance level," Krisna said. 

Asep Sri Hastuti, a clinical physiotherapist in Orthopedic Sport and Wellness (OSW) at Persada Hospital, emphasized that the ideal time period needed to get back to normal was around nine months to a year, depending on the condition of each patient.

This recovery is carried out in a structured manner, step by step and divided into four recovery phases.

"The first phase takes 2 to 6 weeks to perform muscle activation and muscle stabilization. The second phase requires about another 2 to 4 months with muscle strength training materials, such as step-up and step-down," he explained.

Asep added that the third phase was six months of recovery, namely the material of joint stability training with extreme movements.

After the three phases have passed, ACL injury patients can be declared almost healed, so that in the last phase a patient can make preparations to return to normal activities again. 

For athletes, they can start training again and continue their sporting career. (liz/wng)