The knee joint is one of the biggest and most complex joints in the body. It is also one of the most essential joints as it connects the thigh bone to the shinbone, playing a critical role in supporting the body’s weight, facilitating movement and allowing you to bend your leg at the knee.
Due to the complexity of the knee joint, unfortunately, it is susceptible to a number of different injuries. Let’s take a moment to review some of the most common knee injuries.
6 Common Knee Injuries
- Fractures. The kneecap, or patella, acts as a shield for your knee joint and protects it from injury or damage during a fall. During a high impact fall or sports injury, it is possible for the kneecap to break. Kneecap fractures, while somewhat common, are serious injuries that typically require immobilization and even surgery to correct.
- Patellar Tendon Tears. The tendon in the knee, also known as the patellar tendon, works alongside the knee muscles in the front of the thigh to help straighten the leg. It is possible for anyone to tear their tendon, however, tears in the patellar tendon are common among middle-aged people and those who participate in running or jumping sports. A complete tear in the tendon is considered a disabling injury and requires surgery to regain complete function. Many tears are only partial tears and will require rest and often physical therapy to help facilitate healing.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a crucial knee ligamentous tissue that joins the upper and lower leg bones together and helps keep the knee stable. The ACL can be torn or injured if the lower leg extends forwards too far or if the leg becomes twisted. ACL injuries happen to be one of the most common types of knee injuries and account for approximately 40 percent of all sports-related injuries. Treatment options for ACL injuries typically depend on the extent of the injury. Depending on various factors including the severity of the tear, surgery may be required and physical rehabilitation is often recommended.
- Dislocations. Knee dislocations occur when the knee bones become misplaced and can occur after a major trauma such as a fall, by twisting the knee while one foot is firmly planted on the ground, a car crash, or other high-speed impacts. Although sometimes the kneecap will spontaneously correct itself and return to the proper position, dislocations often require relocation. This involves a mild sedative to allow the doctor to relocate the knee to its proper position without causing much discomfort.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries. The posterior cruciate ligament is what connects the femur bone to the shinbone and keeps the shinbone from moving too far back. This ligament is located in the back of the knee. If the damage is only to the posterior cruciate ligament then many times treatment is generally non-surgical. Unfortunately, if there is a combination of injuries such as a dislocated knee and multiple torn ligaments, then surgery may be necessary.
- Meniscal Tears. The meniscus is an important piece of cartilage between the knee joint that helps to absorb the shock that arises when running or playing sports. This piece of cartilage helps cushion the joint and keep it stable. Meniscus tears are quite common in sports that require jumping, such as volleyball and soccer, as well as contact sports like football. This can also happen when direction suddenly changes while running. Depending on the severity and extent of the tear, surgery may be required.
The fact is, the knee is a complex joint and one of the most commonly injured parts of the body. Sports, motor-vehicle accidents, and falls account for the large majority of knee injuries. Knee problems can have a big impact on your life and interfere with all daily activities. Overuse, overtraining, or not properly rehabilitating acute injuries can also predispose a person to knee injuries.
If you are interested in learning more about health and wellness, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted practitioners at SHIN Wellness. We offer many holistic treatments such as Decompression Therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Neurofeedback, Psychology, Reiki, Nutrition, Corrective Exercises, and Massage. If you need some help figuring out what service is right for you, try our personalized consultation. Our Wellness Center and Chiropractor office in Miami Florida specializes in restoring your health!