Common Knee Injuries for the Everyday Athlete
You may not consider yourself an athlete if you don’t spend several days a week on a field or court. However, your body may say otherwise. Anyone who plays any sport at any time is an athlete to some degree. As such, any person who plays sports is presented with unique situations in which an injury may occur. Here, we discuss the various areas of the knee that are susceptible to sports injuries, what to do about them, and how to minimize injury risk.
There are a few major ligaments that help to stabilize the knee joint. These are the:
- ACL: Anterior Cruciate Ligament
- LCL: Lateral Collateral Ligament
- MCL: Medial Collateral Ligament
- PCL: Posterior Cruciate Ligament
- Coronary Ligament
It is possible to injure any one or more ligaments in the knee. Statistics indicate that ACL injuries tend to be most common, with more than 250,000 injuries reported each year. The ACL may be injured by external trauma or by pivoting hard or landing on a single leg. Twisting force is a common source of ACL injury, as is hyperextension of the knee.
Knee ligament injuries are diagnosed and treated based on grade, or the severity of the injury. As often as possible, conservative therapies such as rest, ice, and physical therapy exercises are prescribed to facilitate self-repair. A severely injured ligament will require surgical intervention to remove the torn ligament and replace it with a durable tissue graft.
Meniscal tears are also common sports injuries, affecting one of two pieces of cartilage in the knee joint. Due to position and proximity, a meniscal tear may coincide with ACL tear. The meniscus is located on both the inside of the knee (the medial meniscus) and on the outer side of the knee (the lateral meniscus).
Treatment for a meniscus cartilage injury may revolve around minimizing inflammation and improving joint mobility. Ice, rest, and physical therapy may achieve this. When surgery is needed, doctors attempt to repair existing structure when possible. In some instances, a partial or full removal of the damaged meniscus is necessary.
One of the common tendon injuries in the knee is patellar tendinopathy. This is referred to as jumper’s knee and relates to sports or other activities in which a person jumps often. Jumper’s knee may also occur suddenly due to overextension of the patellar tendon. Patellar tendinopathy can become severe enough to disrupt daily living. In some instances, arthroscopic debridement is recommended to remove damaged tissue.
Hartzband Center for Knee and Hip Replacement serves patients from Paramus and surrounding areas with comprehensive, conservative care. Call 201.291.4040 for more information or to schedule a visit.
Category: Knee Injury and Treatment