Acute Knee Injuries
An acute knee injury usually occurs suddenly through either trauma or a twisting action. Pain in the knee can vary in severity from very mild to very severe and this depends on the injury mechanism (how the injury occurred) and the forces involved during the impact. It is strongly advised not to carry on playing if you have acute knee pain as this can easily progress to a chronic pain or to more complex knee injuries.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury or 'ACL injuries' are common in contact sports and especially those that are combined with sudden change of direction such as soccer or football. Often ACL tears do not occur in isolation and are in most cases are associated with damage to other structures within the knee such as the cartilage or the collateral ligaments.
A full or partial rupture can occur in the hamstring tendons as they insert into the back of the knee.
A medial ligament sprain or MCL injury is a tear of the ligament on the inside of the knee, usually a result of twisting or direct impact.
Medial ligament injuries are common in contact sports such as football and rugby, as well as martial arts. They can also occur in daily life through falls and twists of the knee joint.
A lateral ligament sprain is a knee ligament injury involving a tear to the ligament on the outside of the knee and is most likely following a direct blow to the inside of the knee.
The posterior cruciate ligament is important for stabilizing the knee and preventing it from bending back the wrong way.
A knee contusion or bruised knee occurs due to an impact on the knee. This can be due to a fall directly onto the knee or something hitting the knee, such as a ball or club. Contusion is the medical term for a bruise. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is.
A torn meniscus is a tear to the semi circular cartilage in the knee joint causing pain on the inside of the knee. It is commonly injured through direct impact in contact sports or twisting but can also occur in older athletes through gradual degeneration. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is and may require surgery.
The unhappy triad is a severe injury which involves damage to three of the four major ligaments in the knee.
Coronary ligament sprain has similar symptoms to cartilage meniscus injury and often occur with lateral ligament injuries.
The Biceps Femoris is one three hamstring muscles. An avulsion strain or fracture involves the tendon pulling away from the bone.
An acute patella injury is an injury to the kneecap or patella from a direct blow or fall onto the knee. A fracture of the patella is also possible.
An Osteochondral fracture is a tear of the cartilage which covers the end of a bone, within a joint. It is also known as Osteochondritis Dissecans and is common in the knee joint, especially in association with other injuries such as ACL tears.
A knee sprain is an injury or damage to any of the four ligaments which support the knee.
Articular cartilage injury is damage to the tough cartilage that lines the ends of bones. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment of an articular cartilage injury to the knee.
The tibial plateau is the upper surface of the tibia or shin bone. It is prone to becoming fractured in high speed accidents such as those associated with skiing, horse riding and certain water sports.
A dislocated knee is where the femur or thigh bone and the tibia or shin bone are moved apart. This is different to a patella dislocation, and is a far more serious and traumatic injury.
The patella can dislocate outside of its normal position, usually round the outside of the knee. It can also partially dislocate, called a subluxation.
The patella tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone. A partial rupture of this tendon is often from a jumping or explosive load on the tendon.