A dodgy knee can harm a sportsperson’s career, writes Dr. Rajeev K. Sharma.
Two years ago, a promising Indian weightlifter injured his knee when his weights fell on his leg during practice. He suffered a ligament injury on a knee. The wound healed but his career was all but finished.
Most sportspersons lack proper guidance and knowledge about how a knee injury, if not reported on time, can destroy their career. This is very unfortunate, as it not only ruins careers of individuals but also deprives the country of potential greats.
Whether a sportsperson who has injured his/her knee can return to the sport depends on how early the extent of the injury is detected and how early treatment is begun. A ligament injury can be repaired if reported early, but once the tear stretches up to the cartilage, the player may not be able to return to competitive sport.
Hence, the need to educate sportspersons to taking even the slightest pain in the knee seriously is very important. Apart from that they should not overlook any injury because it could be potentially devastating. Tendons and ligaments are the instruments that hold our joints together. They are protected by the meniscus and cartilage. If a ligament injury persists and treatment is delayed, the injury can extend up to the cartilage. Once damaged, the cartilage cannot be repaired and a joint replacement may be necessary.
In some cases, when treatment is delayed, damaged tissues lose their ability to repair themselves. For those who only seek to continue with their daily routine, returning to an almost normal life after a joint replacement surgery may not be too difficult. But it is another story for sportspersons who need to be at the peak of their physical strength.
Besides, sportspersons also need to prepare themselves to save their bodies from career-threatening injuries. For example, a weightlifter should know how to gradually increase the weight he or she lifts, and the right position they need to keep. Football players should know the right kind of roll down as it takes away the impact on the ligament.
Keep your weight under control
Ensure adequate intake of calcium and Vitamin D
Wear knee guards or caps while playing games
Learn the proper roll out to lessen impact
Report injury at once
Don’t use a treadmill; run on the ground
Don’t start a workout without warming up
Don’t carry very heavy weights