The knee is a complex joint which consists of bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons that make joint movements easy and at the same time more susceptible to various kinds of injuries. These injuries can cause a wide range of ligament injuries including:
Knee problems may arise if any of these structures get injured by overuse or is injured suddenly during sports activities. Common causes of knee injury include:
- Fracture of the femur (thigh bone) or tibia and fibula (leg bones)
- Torn ligament (either anterior or posterior cruciate ligament)
- Rupture of blood vessels following a trauma that leads to accumulation of extra fluid or blood in the joint
- Dislocation of knee cap (patella)
- Torn quadriceps or hamstring muscles
- Patellar tendon tear
Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the common symptoms of any damage or injury to the knee.
Diagnosis of ligament injuries is made by knowing your symptoms, medical history, performing a physical examination of the knee, and performing other diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, stress tests of the ligament, and arthroscopy.
CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS
Immediately following a knee injury before being evaluated by a doctor, you can initiate the R.I.C.E. method of treatment:
- Rest: Rest the knee as more damage could result from pressure on the injury.
- Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area to reduce swelling and pain. Never place ice directly over the skin. Ice should be wrapped in a towel and applied to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times in a day for several days.
- Compression: Wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage or compression stocking can help minimize the swelling and support your knee.
- Elevation: Elevating the knee above the heart level will also help reduce swelling and pain.
It is important to seek your doctor’s advice if you hear a popping noise or feel as if your knee has given way at the time of injury and if you are unable to move your knee because of severe pain.
Young athletes involved in pivoting sports will most likely require surgery to safely return to sports.
See related page: ACL Reconstruction
EXPERIENCING PAIN? DO YOU HAVE AN INJURY?
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