1) Talk about your Physiotherapy Journey
I decided to pursue a career in physiotherapy and specialise in knee rehab because of my personal experiences. When I was 17, I tore my ACL while playing basketball. Unfortunately, I had some complications with my first knee surgery. I had to do a second one just to repair the damage fully.
As a result, I consulted a physiotherapist for a very long time and became very interested in what they do — how physiotherapy can help to minimise the effects of my knee pain to get you back to 100%.
How did this torn ACL affect your daily life?
This ACL injury has affected my life severely. Despite being a physio, I am not able to run too far or too fast, and have to be very mindful of the exercises that I do. Fortunately, I am quite aware of my body limits and being in the profession, able to take care of myself and keep an active lifestyle.
2) Common Knee Injuries in Hong Kong
What are the most common knee problems amongst your clients in Hong Kong?
Besides ACL tears, which is very common in Hong Kong, anterior knee pain is a very prevalent issue. It has become extremely common because people are interested in trail running here, which causes a lot of impact on uneven surfaces.
Which demographic is most prone to knee injuries in Hong Kong?
Females tend to have poor leg alignment compared to male counterparts, and thus are more prone to structural issues that can cause knee injuries. Interestingly in Hong Kong, an even number of males and females come to me with knee injuries. As males tend to lead more active lifestyles, which makes them more likely to get hurt.
Tell us more about your knee injury clients?
Hong Kong People love playing high impact sports to keep them active in their busy lives. Once they injure their knee, they must avoid such sports for a certain amount of time. As a physiotherapist, one of the key challenges is to manage client’s expectations and get them to rest fully before getting back into sports again.
How do you treat knee injuries?
In my practice, I pay special attention to aware of external issues that may cause further problems to the knee. I had a patient recently whose leg was severely swollen after doing surgery for his ACL tear. Swelling for a few days is normal, but he had this for a prolonged period of time, which caused the physiotherapy treatment not to be effective. As a result, I had to tell him to go back to the surgeon, who made him do another surgery due to the first one causing a bacterial infection in his leg. I must be very attentive to my patients, as this patient could have lost his entire leg if the issue was identified at a later time.
Is the knee pain healing process the same for everyone?
Provided that the patient doesn’t have any diabetes, the process of healing is pretty much the same for everyone. Each person has to undergo a similar process of knee rehabilitation but with varying timelines and goals.
How to avoid knee pain?
In general, most knee issues are caused by weak quadriceps or leg muscles.To prevent knee pain in the future, one should strengthen the leg muscles and also aim to have very stable core strength.
Any advice for people with knee problems?
Allow ample time to rest well and be very aware that they may need to avoid certain exercises for a significant amount of time. They cannot be lazy, procrastinate and need to work at least 20% more on their ‘bad’ leg to stabilize the knee.
All our physiotherapists specialise in sports injuries. Sports and Spinal features two speciality treatment packages for ACL Tear and Knee Pain Rehabilitation, or call our clinic for more details at 2530 0073