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Common Knee Conditions


What is it?

The common knee conditions are- fractures around the knee, dislocation, and sprains and tears of soft tissues, like ligamensts. The most common signs of knee injury are pain, swelling, catch or lock up of knee joint, and instability due to sprained or strained knee ligaments and/or muscles, torn cartilage, tendonitis ,arthritis.
1. Fractures

Patellar fracture
Most of the times, common bone that is broken around the knee is the patella. The ends of the long bones – femur and tibia can also be fractured at the site where they meet to form the knee joint. Usually resulted due to high energy trauma, like falls from significant heights and vehicular accidents.

2. Patellar dislocation.

It occurs when the bones of the knee joint get out of place, either partially or completely. Dislocations can be caused by an abnormality in the structure of a person’s knee. Dislocations are most often caused by trauma, due to falls, motor vehicle accidents, and sports-related injuries.

3. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament often gets injured during sports like soccer, football, and basketball. Changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump incorrectly can tear the ACL. Damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments also result concurrently.

4. Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

The posterior cruciate ligament is often injured as a result of a blow to the front of the knee while the knee is bent. This often occurs in motor vehicle accidents and sports-related injuries.
Posterior cruciate ligament tear (as shown from back of knee).

5. Collateral Ligament Injuries

Commonly, collateral ligaments get injured if the knee gets pushed forcefully sideways. MCL Injuries are result of a direct blow to the outside of the knee, and are most of the time sports-related. lateral collateral ligament gets traumatized by forceful blows to the inside of the knee.
Tears of the medial and lateral collateral ligaments.

6. Meniscal Tears

Meniscus may tear due to forceful knee movement and weight bearing on the same side. The meniscus may tear fully or partially. Impact of injury depends on extent of tear and the exact site of the tear. The footballer and tennis player are at high risk of these injuries
7. Tendon Tears

In people especially, middle-aged who indulge in running or jumping sports may get their patellar and quadriceps tendons stretched and torn. Falls from height and awkward landing from a jump may causes knee tendon injuries.

When to seek medical assistance:

  • Acute and severe pain
  • If there is popping noise at the time of injury or person feels of knee give out
  • Person starts limping
  • Unable to move the knee
  • Swelling develops at affected part after injury

Treatment of Knee Injuries

  • The type of treatment will depend on – the severity of your injury, your age, general health, and activity level
  • RICE Protocol –

1. Rest to the injured part
2. Ice application externally
3. Compression of affected area
4. Elevation –raise the afflicted limb above heart level.

  • Nonsurgical Treatment
    • Use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -like aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
    • Physiotherapy- guided exercises to restore knee function and to strengthen the muscles supporting the joint.
    • Local Immobilization- to prevent knee from moving. Plaster cast or brace can maintain bone alignment during healing process.
  • Surgical Treatment

Arthroscopy with small instruments and incisions.
Multiple injuries may require open procedure with a larger incision. This offers easy access and direct visualization of the damaged parts and tissues.

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