Our legs allow us to walk, drive, play sports, and participate in a myriad of everyday activities, often that we take for granted. However, our knee joints are a highly vulnerable part of our legs that are prone to experiencing many injuries that can impact our daily lives. It is one of the most commonly injured parts of the human body and can cause extreme pain and restricted mobility options as a result.
Certain risk factors make you more susceptible to experiencing a knee injury. Those risk factors include overuse, improper training techniques, pre-existing conditions such as osteoporosis, and participation in high-impact sports, like football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and more.
Since healthy knees play a crucial role in how we go about life, it is important to be aware of the most common knee injuries we face, so you can be both cautious and prepared.
The 8 Most Common Knee Injuries
There are many different types of knee injuries a person can be diagnosed with following a traumatic injury to the knee or its surrounding connective tissues.
#1. Knee Sprains
Knee sprains involve damage to the ligaments that hold the knee bones together. The damage may include any of the ligaments that stabilize the knee, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
When a ligament injury occurs, a doctor will grade it depending on the damage done to the ligament. Grade 1 knee sprains involve ligaments that have been stretched and are painful but are still intact and show no evidence of tearing or knee instability. Grade 2 knee sprains involve partially torn ligaments and a mild case of knee instability. Finally, the grade 3 knee sprain involves ligaments that are torn through and have no knee stability.
#2. Knee Strains
When you hyperflex or hyperextend your knee, you may experience a knee strain. This type of injury leads to pain outside the knee joint and can impact the knee’s normal range of motion. This injury typically occurs following an increase in activity that your body isn’t used to.
#3. Knee Bursitis
This knee injury occurs when a bursa, a fluid-filled sac located around the joints, becomes irritated, inflamed, or infected. While any bursa in the knee can become inflamed, the most common ones to be affected are the one over your kneecaps or the one located on the inner side of the knee just below the joint. It is common to experience pain and limited mobility when you have knee bursitis.
#4. Meniscus Tears
Meniscus tears involve cartilage damage to the inside of the knee and are due to a forceful knee twist. Meniscus tears typically occur in people aged 35 to 50 and are most common in males. Swelling, pain, and stiffness may occur.
#5. Knee Joint Dislocation
A dislocation occurs when the bones that make up the kneecap become separated due to a fall, car accident, or high-speed impact. In some instances, a dislocation occurs when a foot is firmly planted to the ground and the knee twists. Severe pain typically occurs following a dislocation and, if realigned incorrectly, can result in further injury or complications.
#6. Knee Fractures
Kneecap fractures occur due to high-impact falls or sports-related accidents. The most common knee fracture involves the patella and is very painful. When you experience a fracture, you may have to keep your knee immobilized until the fracture heals. Some may even have to have surgery to repair the fracture.
#7. Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee refers to two different conditions, chondromalacia patella, and iliotibial band syndrome. Chondromalacia patella refers to anterior knee pain, while iliotibial band syndrome refers to lateral knee pain. It affects those who run, hike, and walk. Doctors can determine which one you have based on pain location (either in the front or on the side of your injured knee).
Common Knee Injuries in Children
When discussing common knee injuries, it’s also important to note that some are more common in children than adults. Those common childhood-related knee injuries include:
#1. Osteochondritis Dissecans
This knee joint disorder typically occurs in children and involves blood loss to the joints and cartilage beneath the joints. This condition causes joint pain and stiffness. It’s also important to note, though, that this particular disorder can affect a child’s elbow and ankle joints too.
#2. Osgood-Schlatter Disease
As your child grows, they may experience painful inflammation at the lower part of the kneecap involving the patellar tendon. While it typically occurs in boys who engage in running or jumping sports, it can also affect females. The ages of those dealing with this disorder fall between the ages of 10 and 15.
Thunder Basin Orthopaedics Knows Knee Injuries
If you’re suffering from knee pain, it’s important to consult with an orthopedic specialist that can help determine what the best course of treatment is.
Treating everything from fractures and traumatic injuries to joint replacement and sports injuries, Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine gives individualized treatment using a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body.
Looking for the skilled staff and top surgeons to get you back on your feet and back in the game? Contact Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. You can also find new patient paperwork here to get a head start on getting back to living life to its fullest and working toward becoming pain free!