SE – Chronic Knee pain

SE was referred to AquaPhysio after having an arthroscopic medial menisectomy with degenerative chondrocalcinosis in September 2011.

On assessment she had a swollen, painful knee with very weak quadriceps muscles and knee flexion of only 100 degrees. Her knee history included a series of skiing injuries including an ACL repair as well as 2-3 meniscal repairs over a 20 year period. She was an avid runner who had been told that she would never be able to run again. A pool exercise program was started with SE to build up the muscle around the knee, regain control of flexion and extension and to introduce some CV fitness.

SE worked hard at regaining both quadriceps and gluteal strength as well as knee control, slowly being able to jump and run in the pool. For CV fitness she started with a few minutes of deep water running and progressed to running on the plyometric boards and on the underwater treadmill. SE worked hard over a 4 month period and on discharge was able to complete a 15 minute park run without pain.

What the patient said:

I injured my knee over twenty years ago and had an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.  Since that time I have had on-going problems with my knee and have had three further operations to repair torn cartilage.  During this twenty year period I have continued (against medical advice) to run.  However, in February 2011 I injured my knee again and had not been able to do any exercise.  I had an arthroscopy in September and was referred to AquaPhysio by my physiotherapist. 

Over the last twenty years I have had extensive physiotherapy, but this was the first time that I had tried hydrotherapy. Before treatment I was unable to walk more than 50m and was limping.  I was absolutely amazed when I got out of the pool after the first session and was able to walk normally.  I have had only four sessions over a two week period and the increase in mobility and strength in my knee has been astounding. At each session I have seen a dramatic improvement in my knee that I have never experienced during standard physiotherapy treatments.  The physiotherapists are very supportive and are clearly very experienced.  They are extremely friendly and inspirational.  Although my Consultant has suggested that I may never be able to run again, AquaPhysio has given me the best opportunity to fulfil my dream. I have been out running a couple of times now and the knee is absolutely fine.  So far I have only gone for 10 minutes and have done well to avoid the temptation to go any further.