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Mechanism of Injury – How can a physio help?

Jul 11, 2016

Anyone who watched lasts nights Euro’s 2016 Final would have seen that Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo had to be stretchered off following an earlier knee injury.
ronaldo knee injury physioWhen you come for a physiotherapy assessment having suffered an injury, you’ll find the Physio will spend time asking you lots of questions about your injury. What exactly you were doing, how you think it happened, how it felt immediately afterwards?………The reason for this is that  the ‘mechanism of injury’ can give a lot of clues as to what exactly may be injured and it will guide the physical part of the assessment.

Obviously, a live football match has the benefit of being filmed, so it is very clear what the mechanism of injury was in Ronaldo’s case. His left foot is firmly fixed to the ground and his leg is rotated, with his opponent exerting a force with his knee onto the outside of Ronaldo’s knee. The potential consequence of this is overstitching of the medial (inside part of his knee), compression of the lateral (outside part of his knee) combined with the rotation – this combination could mean damage to his medial collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and/or damage to his meniscus (cartilage). It could be a nasty injury, as yet there is no word.

So, our job involves a fair bit of detective work! It’s not always easy, as these things happen very quickly. But having a really good think about what may have happened to cause of contribute to your injury can be really helpful.

Mental Health & Injuries: A Clinician Perspective

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