While many believe that knee injuries are primarily the result of sporting activity, in reality, damage to the knee is a common occurrence. There are literally millions of doctor visits each year by patients who have suffered some degree of injury to their knee. The reasons, of course, are varied. Nevertheless, as the knee is a joint that is composed of many vulnerable components, it is subject to issues of wear and tear, as well as injury. Such maladies can often be treated by non-evasive medical care, while there are problems that may require surgery. The following are the most common types of knee injuries people encounter.
There are three bones in the knee (patella, femur, and tibia) that can suffer fractures. It can be the result, for example, of direct trauma to the front of the knee from a fall from a significant height that fractures the patella (kneecap). This tends to be the most common occurrence. A tibia plateau fracture occurs when sudden excessive pressure collapses the top of the tibia bone. A Distal femur fracture occurs at the bottom of the femur where it connects to the knee joint.
A particularly painful injury is the dislocation of the knee. This can occur from swift changes in movement or foot misplacement while walking/running. The condition involves the bones in the knee being dislodged, either partially or completely. An example would be the tibia and the femur forcibly becoming unaligned. Ligament damage often accompanies an injury of this type.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
Commonly referred to as ACL injuries, these mishaps are not just the province of athletes. As the name implies, this injury is to the ligaments that hold the knee bones together and provide stability. Damage to the ACL can result in a complete or partial tear, or just a sprain. Typically, an ACL injury occurs from such actions as a quick change of direction or compressive pressure from landing improperly from jumping.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
PCL injuries are very similar in nature to ACL injuries, differing only in the location of the ligament involved. PCL injuries usually occur while the knee is in a bent position. You will often find this injury, for example, in relation with an automobile crash. The good news is that PCL injuries more often than not are only partial tears and will mend without surgical care.
The meniscus is cartilage, shaped like a wedge, that act as a cushion between the tibia and femur bones that join to form the knee joint. The meniscus can tear from twisting the knee or squatting. A tear can also happen from normal degeneration as people advance in age. This is particularly true with those who suffer from arthritis.
The knee is a complex joint that serves as an integral component of healthy mobility. When one experiences any problem with this area of the body, the assistance of medical professionals is always the best course of action. In particular, an orthopedic specialist has the training to evaluate and recommend the best course of treatment that a patient should seek for injuries relating to the knee. Not only will such medical assistance provide an immediate resolution to any injury, orthopedic doctors will help patients with the best preventive methods to reduce a likely re-occurrence.