Knee Injuries

 

Knee injuries are extremely common and can usually be divided into overuse injuries where the pain and other symptoms develop gradually, or acute, traumatic injuries where there is a sudden point of pain, usually caused by a force on the knee.


Overuse Injuries


Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is sometimes known as anterior knee pain and sometimes (incorrectly) as chondromalacia patellae (the two things are slightly different although chondromalacia may result from patellofemoral pain syndrome). Patellofemoral pain is caused by the knee cap moving too far towards the outer side of the joint (known as mal-tracking).

Symptoms may include:

 

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis in the knee is very common the older we get. If you have suffered previous knee injuries or are particularly overweight you have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage which lines the surfaces of bones where they form a joint. In severe cases there may be little or even no cartilage left. The medial (inner aspect) of the knee is more commonly affected.

Symptoms may include:

 

More information on Osteoarthritis of the Knee.

 

Patella Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee)

The patella tendon is located just below the knee cap on the front of the knee. It connects the patella and the quad muscles to the shin bone. Tendonitis (or tendinopathy as it is more accurately known) is a degenerative condition of this tendon due to repetitive high demands.

Symptoms may include:

 

IT Band Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

The IT band is a long thick tendon which runs down the outside of the thigh and attaches just below the knee. Sometimes this band may rub against the outer side of the knee, every time the knee is bent and straightened. This results in friction, inflammation and pain.

Symptoms may include:

 

More information on IT Band Syndrome.

 

Thinking of getting a knee support but not sure where to start? Have a look at our guide to knee supports and braces!

 

Acute Knee Injuries


Knee Ligament Injuries

There are 4 main ligaments in the knee which may be commonly injured. These are the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL). The most commonly injured are the ACL and the MCL.

Treatment of a ligament injury depends on the extent of the damage. A ligament may be sprained - meaning only a few fibres are torn, or completely ruptured - so all fibres are torn. For a sprain, conservative treatment and a rehabilitation programme is usually sufficient. With a complete rupture, in some cases surgery will be undertaken to repair or reconstruct the ligament. The most common example of this is the ACL. However, this is not always the case. It is possible for a knee to function without one of the ligaments, so it will depend on the amount of instability and the sports or activities the individual is involved in.

Symptoms vary depending on severity and which ligament is injured:

 

Meniscus (Cartilage) Injuries

There are two rings of cartilage in the knee which are called meniscus. A tear to one of these may occur due to a twisting or compressive force on the knee. Tears may be quite small and heal well, or larger tears may require surgery.

Symptoms may include:

 

More information on Torn Meniscus Injuries.

 

Patella Dislocation

The patella is the knee cap which sits at the front of the knee. This runs up and down in a groove when the knee is bent and straightened. When the patella dislocates, it moves out of this groove (usually towards the outside of the joint). This may occur after a direct force to the knee. It will usually return to it's normal position when straightening the knee, although this is known to be very painful!

Symptoms may include:

 

Visit www.sportsinjuryclinic.net for further information on these and more knee injuries and knee pain.