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Caring for the Knee – A Guide on Knee Injuries

The knee is one of the most important, strong yet vulnerable joints of the body. Most of the injuries are commonly centered to the knee. Hence there is a huge spectrum of treatments and medications for knee injuries. Many a time the injury spreads and affects the leg as a whole.

Types of Knee Injuries

There are a number of knee injuries that can affect day-to-day activities of a person. These include:

Fractures

The patella is the most vulnerable bone in the knee. The ends of the femur and tibia where they meet to form the knee joint can also be vulnerable to fractures. High energy trauma, such as falls from significant heights, and motor vehicle collisions are some of the major reasons for knee fractures.

 Fracture
 Knee dislocation

Knee Dislocation

When the bones of the knee are forced out of place, either completely or partially, the condition is called a dislocated knee. For example, the femur and tibia can be forced out of alignment and the patella can also slip out of place. Abnormality in the structure of a person's knee is the major cause of dislocation. In people who have normal knee structure, dislocations are most often caused by high energy trauma such as falls, motor vehicle crashes and sports-related contact.

ACL Injuries

ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament, is a set of ligaments in the front portion of the knee. Athletes who participate in high energy sports like soccer, football and basketball are more prone to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments. Rapid change of direction or incorrect landing from a jump can tear the ACL. About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus or other ligaments.

 Anterior Cruciate Ligament
PCL injuries

PCL Injuries

PCL, or Posterior Cruciate Ligaments, are a set of ligaments located in the posterior part of the knee. It is often injured from a hit to the front of the knee while the knee is bent. It usually occurs in motor vehicle crashes and sports-related contact. Posterior cruciate ligament tears tend to be partial tears with the potential to heal on their own.

Collateral Ligament Injuries

When a major force pushes the knee sideways the first to get injured are the collateral ligaments. These are often contact injuries. There are two types of collateral ligaments viz. median and lateral ligaments. The MCL, or medial collateral ligaments, injury is usually caused by a direct blow to the outside of the knee, and are often sports-related. Blows to the inside of the knee push the knee outwards and injure the lateral collateral ligament.

 collateral ligament injuries
 Meniscal tears

Meniscal Tears

Sudden meniscal tears often happen during sports. In many cases, twisting, cutting, pivoting or being tackled leads to a meniscal tear. Meniscal tears may also occur as a result of arthritis or aging.

Tendon Tears

The quadriceps and patellar tendons are the major set of tendons in the knee. A stressful stretch can lead to a tear. Although anyone can injure these tendons, tears are more common among middle-aged people who play running or jumping sports. Falls, direct force to the front of the knee and landing awkwardly from a jump are common causes of knee tendon injuries.

 Tendon tears

 

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