According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, common injuries of the knee include fractures, dislocations and ligament tears.
Though the femur and tibia do break, the patella or kneecap is the bone that is most commonly fractured around the knee. These knee joint fractures usually occur as a result of high energy trauma from motor vehicle accidents and falls from heights. Most knee joint fractures are treated surgically with plates, screws and casts to keep the broken ends in their correct position until the knee heals.
Knee dislocations occur when the bones are knocked out of their correct anatomical position during sports related accidents, motor vehicle collisions and other high energy trauma. The patella can also slip out of its position during twisting movements. Dislocated knees are treated by returning the bone to its position and placing the joint in a splint or cast for a few weeks. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen are also prescribed to reduce the pain and swelling.
The medial and lateral collateral ligaments, as well as the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, are some of the ligaments that are torn in knee injuries. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is injured during activities that involve sudden twisting motions. This can occur while playing football, soccer, basketball and other sports that require changing directions rapidly. The collateral ligaments are often torn by blows from contact sports that push the knees sideways. Ligament injuries are usually treated surgically. This can either be the traditional open surgery or arthroscopic surgery which uses tiny instruments and small incisions.
The Knee Society reports that patella tendinitis is a common knee injury that follows repetitive trauma from activities like playing volleyball or basketball. The treatment of this tendon injury involves resting the knee for some time, followed by stretching and strengthening exercises. Ice may also be applied and NSAIDS prescribed.
Disclaimer: Always seek professional help or treatment from your doctor if you encounter any type of knee injury or pain.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer