The largest joint in the body is the knee joint. Connecting the leg and thigh are two joints, the tibia and femur. Due to the constant movement of the knee, it is susceptible to more injuries and other diseases. The knee is made up of muscles, joints, tendons, cartilage and more. An interesting fact is that infants are born without knee caps but develop as they grow older. The main components of the knee include bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Its main function is to flex and extend. The knee helps the body move, walk, jump, run, sit, stand and do many other activities. Unfortunately, when there is a problem or injury to the knee, the body is limited in its movements.
Types of Knee Injuries
The constant use of the knee has deemed it a soft spot in the body for higher risk of injuries. Knee pain is the most common symptoms of a knee injury. Below is a list of the most common types of knee injuries.
- Tendon Tears: A tendon tear can either be large or small, but it affects the fibrous tissues of the knee. Tearing the knee tendon can make it difficult to straighten the leg. Chronic diseases, tendinitis and steroid use are the most common causes of tendon tears.
- Dislocation: Falls, sport injuries and car accidents are the most common causes of a knee dislocation. This painful knee injuries may be rare in some causes and the road to recovery can be long. A dislocation occurs when the knee is forcefully pushed out of place.
- Sprains and Strains: Sprains occur when the ligament(s) in the knee become stretched. Strains occur when both the ligaments and tendons because stretch. This form of injury is usually minor and requires ice compression and rest. The causes for both injuries is overuse of the knee or extreme bending of the joints.
- Fracture: A knee fracture can occur in three parts of the knee. A knee fracture is a clean break of the kneecap. If treated unproperly a knee fracture can cause deep-vein thrombosis, loss of movement and infection.
- Tendonitis: This type of knee injury is like a tear. Tendonitis is the most common knee injury among athletes and it involves the inflammation of the tendon.
- Bursitis: The knee joints are filled with small sacs that help reduce the friction between the tendons and muscles. Sometimes this area because inflamed due to fluid entering the small sacs. Bacterial infections and arthritis are some of the causes of bursiti
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): If you are suffering from knee swelling, loss of motion or tenderness, then you may have an ACL injury. This type of injury is split into 3 different grades depending on the severity of the injury. An ACL injury can either be mildly stretching, extremely loose or completely unstable.
Most types of knee injuries can be diagnosed with different methods. The main symptoms of pain and swelling can be visible with a medical exam but a doctor. X-rays, magnetic resonance imagining (mri) and computerized tomography scans (ct) are the most common tests done to further diagnose a knee injury.
Depending on the type of injury, doctors will most likely offer knee injury patients physical therapy and/or RICE therapy. RICE therapy includes rest, ice, compression and elevation of the knee. If the knee injury is severe, doctors may recommend a cast, brace or surgery.
Most everyone walks around all day without giving a second though to their knee use. Sitting for a small period in between walking, jogging or running can help prevent knee injuries. Other ways to prevent knee injuries are:
- Proper exercise
- Safety gear when playing sports
- Wearing a seatbelt when driving
- Eating healthy
- Do not overuse the knee