Knee injuries are a common problem for people leading an active lifestyle because it is the largest joint in the body and one that is involved largely in most daily activities.
Before we dive into the most common knee injuries, we have to understand the anatomy of the knee.
The knee consists of bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Most commonly, the Meniscus (Cartilage), the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) get damaged. These parts of the knee serve a variety of purposes such as stabilizing your knee, providing cushion from impact as well as strength. For your knees to function properly and keep you in top conditioning, without pain, restricted motion or a lack of strength, all aspects of the knee have to be in tip-top condition.
Ligament Injuries (ACL, PCL, CL)
Ligament injuries usually occur from sports activities because of the high impact that your knee experiences. The ACL in particular often gets injured in sports that require a rapid change in direction or sudden impacts at unaccustomed angles.
Sports like basketball, football, rugby and even volleyball can result in injury to the ACL. PCL and CL, on the other hand, involves direct blows to the front and side of the knees, respectively, and are more often seen in activities outside of sports. Scenes such as car accidents can also cause damage to the PCL and CL during the point of impact.
Dislocation and Fractures
Fractures and dislocation are also common knee injuries. Fractures can occur due to a high trauma such as falls or during collisions and they often occur together with ligament injuries.
Dislocation, on the other hand, occurs when the bones in the knees go out of place either partially or fully. Although dislocations can be caused by an abnormality in bone structure, people usually dislocate their knee during accidents of high trauma, much like fractures.
Worn Out / Torn Cartilage
Finally, worn out or torn cartilage happens from overuse of the knee and is especially prevalent in sprinters, runners and other high impact sports like basketball. You may often hear people complaining about torn cartilage and more often than not, this refers to a tear in the meniscus.
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