Arthroscopyic surgery is increasingly being used to treat knee injuries. One of the advantages of this form of surgery is the reduced trauma caused to the connective tissue, meaning the healing process is quicker. Smaller instruments are used and the procedure is less invasive than open surgery. The surgeon and athlete can also view the injury on a video monitor and ligaments and cartilage can be repaired using this procedure.

Sports supports like a knee brace or an open knee support can aid recovery after this type of surgery. Progress is also being made in the area of tissue engineering, which involves using the tissue of the injured person to help the healing process.

How healing occurs in the body

The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. When it is injured, chemicals are released from the damaged cells and blood flow immediately increases as nutrients are sent to the area in need. White blood cells then remove damaged tissue, facilitating the formation of scar tissue. Children and adolescents heal more quickly than adults. However, sports first aid is crucial in the healing process of adults and children alike.

First aid for sports injuries often entails the applicat ion of the ‘PRICE’ principle of: protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Compression involves the use of bandages to provide gentle support to the injured area. These bandages are usually removed twice a day and left off for several minutes before a replacement is applied.

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