Click below to learn more about specific Knee Injuries:
Common Knee Injuries
The knee is a complex area of the body that is highly instrumental in enabling movement. Not surprisingly, this region of the body is also an area often injured during sports participation, though it can be injured by other activities too.
Some common knee injury symptoms include the following (depending upon the underlying knee problem):
- Pain of varying degree (irritating to acute) and duration
- Instability, giving out
- Tightness, stiffness
If one has some of these conditions in the knee and suspects knee problems, one should first seek out the help of a professional. Diagnosing knee injuries on one’s own often leads to misdiagnosis, an even longer healing time and possibly additional damage to the knee. After all, diagnosing knee problems often requires use of X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that are not available to the general public. Depending on your diagnosis, BraceAbility offers a wide variety of knee injury treatments.
Causes of Knee Injuries
While most types of knee injuries stem from certain motions or impacts involved with sports, others can simply be chalked up to the wear and tear of aging. For instance, osteoarthritis is one of the more common knee disorders that is the result of the wear and tear that cause knee joint problems. This happens primarily due to aging, though one’s risk of suffering this painful condition can be increased by certain activities and injuries (such as ligament tears or cartilage damage) earlier in life.
One can also sustain knee injuries from falling, though again one’s likelihood of suffering a tear or other damage is increases depending upon the number of years one has lived or the amount of “abuse” one’s body has undergone. This is because ligaments, cartilage, joints, etc. weaken and/or deteriorate with age and use.
Some opt to undergo knee replacement surgery after a certain amount of damage has occurred to the knee. Even after this operation, however, some cite persistent knee replacement problems such as pain. Some orthotics can be helpful toward easing such problems with knee replacements if the underlying cause is related to kneecap function or alignment problems.
In contrast, a developing child might experience what is known as Osgood-Schlatter Disease. This type of knee problem is characterized by a painful lump beneath the kneecap. It typically forms during growth spurt. Such knee injuries in children are more common if they are involved in sports that require running, jumping or quick direction changes. Thankfully, there are Osgood-Schlatter knee braces for getting a child pain-free and back on the field.
Knee Injuries: ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL
Knee ligament injuries do not distinguish by age. In fact, injury to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is described by some as an epidemic among children, especially females.
There are four major ligaments in the knee and each and every one of them can be torn:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
Ligament tears often result from sudden changes in motion. Thus they are especially common among soccer players, football players, basketball players, skiers and gymnasts, among others.
The increase in year-round sports participation among children with less “play” (helpful for even muscle development) has resulted in an ACL tear being an increasingly common knee injury. Tears to the ACL, especially, are a significantly more common type of knee problems in women than for men, due to differences in hormones, flexibility and physical structure.
This is concerning for several reasons. One, ACL injuries significantly increase one’s risk of additional injuries to the knee down the road. It also greatly ups the odds of osteoarthritis later in life. And finally, repairing an ACL tear requires surgery and months (six to 12) of intense rehab. As you might imagine, this can also come with a daunting price tag. With this in mind, BraceAbility offers ACL tear braces at discounted prices.
Knee Injuries: Meniscus and Other Cartilage Damage
Another one of the more common sports knee injuries is damage to the cartilage of the knee. More specifically, knee meniscus injuries are relatively common knee problems.
The meniscus refers to two rubbery, c-shaped cartilage discs that cushion, absorb shock and stabilize the knee. A quick turn or twist can tear the meniscus, causing knee cartilage problems. Such tears are especially common among athletes whose sports involve contact, such football or wrestling. View our best knee braces and orthotics for football here.
The IncrediBrace Compression Athletic Knee Brace is BraceAbility’s No. 1 seller among these types of athletes as the sleeve provides support without restriction motion. The compression material of the brace also promotes circulation, and thus healing and mobility.
Back of knee injuries often involve tears to the cartilage of the knee, too. Other reasons for pain in this region of the knee might include arthritis or a hamstring injury.
Knee Tendon Injuries
Another common source of pain in the knee is knee tendon injuries. Specifically, athletes and non-athletes alike often cite problems with the patella tendon. This tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia); it is highly instrumental for explosive motions of the leg, such as jumping or kicking.
Frequently engaging in such activities can result in patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, a relatively common overuse injury on the basketball and volleyball court, though it is not exclusive to sports involving jumping. For instance, this patellar tendon injury is also a relatively common among tennis and soccer players.
Common Knee Injuries from Running
Another source of knee anatomy injuries is the knee cap itself. Patella dislocation or dysfunction can cause knee instability and pain. A mistracking patella goes more specifically by the name of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
This overuse injury is especially common among runners. Indeed, it is also known as “runner’s knee.” The faulty tracking of the patella irritates the femerol groove, irritating the cartilage beneath the knee and causing pain.
The best-selling Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support can be helpful for easing pain and ensuring the knee is tracking as it should for running or other sports activity. This Genutrain knee brace is also especially popular among those with basketball knee injuries. View our other basketball knee braces.
One may also here the term “chrondromalacia patella” thrown about when one is talking about running knee injuries. This is a general term to reference damage to the cartilage beneath the knee cap.
And of course, knee conditions do not only include major tears and the like to ligaments, tendons, menisci and the like. One can also experience more “minor” knee injuries that cause instability and pain, such as a knee sprain or strain. These are actually some of the most common knee injuries, meaning there are also a number of knee sprain orthotics for easing discomfort and promoting healing following such an injury.
How to Prevent Knee Injuries
And once one is on the road to healing from any type of knee pain, there are some measures he or she can take to stop the unpleasant symptoms of knee injuries from flaring up again. Preventing knee injuries include taking some of the following precautions before, during and after athletic activity:
- Use proper gear (supportive shoes, protective pads, etc.)
- Use proper form (e.g., make sure you are landing a jump properly)
- Do not suddenly increase workout duration or intensity; ease into such increases
- Stretch – before and after a workout
- Always warm up and cool down
- Focus on achieving balanced leg muscle strength
- Hydrate while working out
- Avoid working out on hard surfaces
- Pay attention to and respect pain; take time off to allow for healing.
As you might guess, not doing many of the aforementioned things increases one’s chances of sustaining different types of knee injuries.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of knee injuries. Rather, it is a brief overview of some of the most common knee injuries. Again, it is best to get help from a professional before embarking on any type of treatment.