Why you shouldn’t accept ‘soft tissue injury’ as an appropriate diagnosis


I see lots of patients coming to see me who’ve injured their knee playing sports and who end up going to their local Accident & Emergency Department as a result.

Too often, they’re told that there’s nothing wrong, or they’re simply told to just rest their knee and see their GP. They may even be sent for an X-ray and then told that they’ve got a “soft tissue injury”, which means nothing, except that there’s no fracture.

Unfortunately, sports knee injuries are being treated like they’re just not important, and people therefore aren’t getting the diagnosis and treatment they deserve. In the long run, this results in further damage to their knees and them subsequently needing further or more major treatment in the future.

Fred is one such patient, who I recently treated after he damaged his knee. Fred says:

“I suffered an injury to my knee which felt major so I went to A&E immediately. After seeing the doctor they said I had done ‘some ligament damage’ and it would repair itself within six weeks. I went away with some crutches and a physio appointment in six weeks-time, which I was told I probably wouldn’t even need. 

“Keen to get back on my feet ASAP, I went to Covent Garden Physio who quickly then referred me to Ian McDermott. After explaining how I sustained the injury to Ian he put me in for an MRI scan. It turned out I had actually dislocated my kneecap, torn the MCL and sprained my ACL. The injury will take three to six months to fully recover from and with regular physio.

I feel very relieved to now know the extent of the injury and that now it has been properly diagnosed, it will repair properly and prevent any further long term damage, that would have happened had it been left.”

Unfortunately, Fred’s case is not uncommon, let alone rare, and I see many patients with very similar stories. It’s no longer good enough for these types of injuries to be seen as insignificant, especially when these patients are usually very active people who are keen to return to their sports and hobbies.

If you’ve injured your knee and you’ve been told that you’ve suffered a ’soft tissue injury’, ensure you have your knee injury investigated properly, that you see an appropriate specialist and that you receive the correct diagnosis and therefore the correct appropriate treatment plan. This will avoid causing further damage and enable you to return to your activities in the appropriate timeframe.



14 December 2017


Sports Injuries