Running, jumping, playing, and competing all require good strong knees. Many common knee injuries can be prevented with a little knowledge and planning. The knee joint is the largest in the body. Knees allow your body to bend, swivel, and straighten out while providing flexibility and stability. The knee is made up of cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Damage to any of these areas can be painful and dangerous.
Common Knee Injuries
Sprains: stretched or torn ligament, damage to the ACL and/or MCL
Symptoms include popping or snapping, pain inability to put weight on leg, swelling, fluid behind the kneecap, feeling loose or unstable
Strains: partial or complete muscle or tendon tear
Symptoms may be the same as sprains in addition to possible bruising
Tendonitis: inflamed or irritated tendon caused by over use
Symptoms include pain or tenderness when moving knee
Meniscal Tears: common in sports injuries, caused by changes in speed or side-to-side movement
Symptoms include tenderness, tightness, and swelling
Fractures and Dislocations: broken, cracked, or shattered bones are diagnosed by X-ray
Symptoms include severe pain and difficulty moving the bone, abnormal bulging, and inability to walk
Cartilage Injuries: a piece of bone or cartilage breaks off and leads to long-term knee pain
Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, inability to move leg, popping sensation
Chondromalacia, Bursitis, and Osgood-Schlatter Disease are other specific knee injuries you could sustain.
- Maintain a healthy weight to remove extra stress on the knee.
- Wear proper safety gear including pads, guards, and shields for all sports and physical activity participation.
- Choose shoes with the right support for your activity.
- Be sure to warm up properly and always cool down after your activity.
- Build up intensity slowly to avoid injury.
- Participate in strength training and flexibility exercises to protect your ligaments and tendons.
- Continue to maintain your muscles during the off season with regular light workouts.
- Prevent knee injuries by bending your knees when landing from a jump.
- If you cut laterally or pivot you can crouch at the knees and hips to avoid ligament injury.
If you do get injured, remember to Rest, Ice your injury, apply Compression, and Elevate the injury. The Orthopedics department at Regional Medical Center has advanced diagnostic equipment to help begin treatment for any knee injury. Our 1.5 Tesla MRI machine provides highly detailed images that help in diagnosing injuries, including soft tissue injuries to the knees. The orthopedic department at Regional Medical Center can help you recover and get back out on the field to win your next game!