Soft tissue injuries
Sometimes knee pain can have no obvious cause such as an injury.
At other times, however, you may be able to link the onset of your knee pain to a single event or injury such as a fall, twist or direct blow to your knee.
If you have had an injury which has made your knee swell up significantly and you struggle to bear weight through it then attend A&E for a review of your knee. This may mean having an X-ray to assess your bones and knee joint. Onward management of your knee problem will be organised from there if needed.
If you can bear weight reasonably well despite pain then it is unlikely you have broken a bone. In this instance you have sustained what is called a “Soft tissue knee injury”.
Soft tissue knee injuries can range from a fairly low grade injury which will ultimately recover on its own with time, to a more significant injury to a ligament or cartilage structure(s) that might need surgery to help it resolve.
Managing your knee pain
There are some simple things you can do to manage your soft tissue knee injury in the early stages. The NHS also has some very good advice and further information. Please the 'Useful links' section on this page.
If you feel your soft tissue knee injury is severe enough, then attending A&E is the correct thing to do. You may be referred onwards to a knee specialist or physiotherapist to help with your knee. It is strongly advisable to take up this offer of onward referral to ensure your knee is managed accordingly. For example this may allow access to other types of investigation such as an ultrasound scan or MRI scan if your medical team think that is needed.
Timescales for recovery after Soft Tissue Knee Injury vary with the severity and exact nature of the problem. It is not uncommon for problems to persist for as long as 6 weeks to 3 months but overall you should see things going in an improving direction during this time. If you feel your knee is not improving discuss this with your GP.