The most common injuries are fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears.

Common Knee Injuries

The knee is integral to mobility and the largest and most complex joint in the body making it susceptible to a variety of injuries. The knee is composed of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

The most common injuries are fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears. At the knee you can fracture the patella (knee cap) or the ends of the bones around the patella (femur and tibia). These fractures are most likely caused by vehicular crashes or hard falls from an increasing height. A dislocation can result from an abnormal knee structure or high impact blow causing the knee to go out of alignment. An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury happen more commonly to athletes because they occur often when landing incorrectly from a jump or while changing direction suddenly. Posterior cruciate ligament injuries also occur in athletes often as well as from automobile accidents simply because the injury is often from a hard blow to the knee while in a bent position. Collateral ligament injuries happen from the knee being forced sideways. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is torn when the knee is forced from the outside of the knee and the lateral collateral ligament is when the knee is forced from the inside and happens less often. Meniscal Tears are usually sports related caused by being tackled, twisting the knee and cutting and pivoting. Tendon tears in the knee can easily happen from falls, injuries to the front of the knee or landing incorrectly form a jump.

Symptoms are different for all injuries but swelling and pain are common. You should see your physician if you have lost mobility, your knee gives out on you, and if you hear a popping noise in the knee at the time of injury.

Treatment will depend on the injury but when you are first injured use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Your physician may require you to wear a brace to immobilize your knee, order physical therapy, and use an anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and swelling.

If your knee injury requires surgery, like many ACL tears, arthroscopic surgery is usually done.