Knee Injury

Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.

You may have injured your knee by damaging the ligaments, the muscles or the tendons. This will cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and a limp.

• Rest your leg on a stool with pillows to raise your leg whenever you are sitting (ensure your leg is higher than your hip).
• Use ice-packs (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a damp tea towel) for no longer than 10 minutes at a time, four to six times a day.
• Take paracetamol or ibuprofen (available from pharmacies and supermarkets) to relieve pain. Please take according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• Exercise your knee gently 4-6 times a day once most of the swelling has gone down. If the movements hurt, try to make them smaller.

• Stand still for long periods. You may have been given a stick or crutches to assist with walking. Please bring the stick or crutches back when you can walk without them. You can leave them at the Emergency Department (ED) reception desk at any time. This will ensure other patients benefit in the future.

The quadriceps muscles at the front of your thigh need to be kept strong to help you recover full knee movement and a normal walking pattern. Do these exercises three times a day AFTER the ice pack treatment.

1. Sit with legs straight. Pull toes up towards you. Tighten the muscles at the top of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds then relax. Repeat 10 times.
2. Sit with a rolled-up towel under the affected knee. Tighten your knee and raise your foot until your knee is straight. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
3. Straighten your leg as much as possible. Tighten the muscles at the front of your thigh. Raise your heel two inches (5 cm), hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
4. Slowly slide your foot back towards your buttocks, bending your knee and hip. Slowly lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

• When using crutches and starting to put weight on your foot, try and put the heel down first and straighten the knee. Avoid walking with a bent or rigid knee all the time.
• As you begin to feel better, progress from stick/crutches to walking unaided unless your doctor has advised otherwise.

If you have any further queries, please contact:
• Emergency Department: 01908 995 913 ext. 2409 between 9am and 10 pm
• Hospital switchboard: 01908 660033 between 10pm and 9am
• Call NHS 111
• Your GP surgery