The knees are one part of the body that are put under strain regularly throughout the day. Not only are the knees responsible for providing stability, but they also bear the weight of the entire body. This makes knee pain and injury a common occurrence, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. Certain injuries can impact your mobility more than others, so here’s what to know about them and how your orthopedic surgeon can help.
What Causes Knee Injuries?
The knee is a multifaceted joint and there are many opportunities for injury to occur. It’s made up of a complex network of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. While these give the knee stability and mobility, they can also greatly impact your knee’s integrity even with a minor injury. Since the knees are such an important part of your regular daily movement, a knee injury can have a large impact.
Knee injuries are often the result of serious twists, misplacements, or impacts during activities. Often, these cause damage to the tissues of the knee like strains, sprains, and tears. More serious injuries can even be caused by fractures to the bones of the knee.
What Are the Most Common Knee Injuries?
Injuries that cause knee pain can include sprained ligaments, ligament tears, meniscus tears, knee bursitis, runner’s knee, tendonitis, fractures, and more.
The patella is the most common bone around the knee to suffer a fracture. Significant trauma often causes these knee fractures, such as falling from a substantial height or a strong collision.
When the bones of the knee are completely or partially out of place, it is called a dislocation. Sports-related contact often causes dislocations, as does an abnormality in the structure of the knee.
It’s common for soccer, football, and basketball athletes to injure their knee ligaments. Rapidly changing direction or roughly landing from a jump can tear the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. Also, a blow to the front of the knee while it is bent can tear the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), while collateral ligament tears can occur when the knee is pushed sideways.
How Are Knee Injuries Treated?
Athletes commonly experience knee pain or injuries. Common signs that you have suffered an injury to the knee include pain and swelling. Your knee may also “lock up”, or feel as if it’s going to “give out”. Thankfully, there are many treatments available to correct these injuries. Nonsurgical treatments include wearing a knee brace, physical therapy, and medication. Surgical treatments, such as ACL surgery, can be performed to heal a torn ligament, and address other knee injuries.
It can be difficult to determine the severity of your knee injury, meaning consulting with your orthopedic surgeon is the best way to assess your knee and create a treatment plan. Most mild knee injuries (sprains, strains, and overuse) can actually be relieved and treated at home with ice packs, anti-inflammatories, rest, and elevation.
How Can I Prevent Knee Injuries?
The best way to avoid knee injuries is by proactively preventing them. Make sure to adequately stretch before and after activities, and give yourself plenty of rest if you begin to experience pain and discomfort. Additionally, strengthening exercises for the knees and legs can help stabilize movement and build resistance to overuse. If you regularly experience knee injuries, a physical therapist can help you develop a preventive plan with the right exercises for your anatomy and lifestyle.
Schedule a Consultation
Knee injuries can drastically impact your enjoyment of your favorite activities. To meet with Dr. Goldberg and discuss your treatment options, we invite you to contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.