Acute Knee Injuries

Acute knee pain

Acute knee injuries usually occur from an impact, trauma or twisting of the knee with ligament damage most common (ligaments attach bone to bone).

Other structures such as cartilage and soft tissues within the knee joint can also be injured. With a bad knee sprain there may be a compination of tissues and structures injured. If you have suffered an acute knee injury then it is important to apply the RICE principles (rest, ice, compression and elevation) as soon as possible.

Most common

Medial meniscus tear - also called medial cartilage injury or cartilage meniscus tear.

Medial ligament sprain - also called MCL sprain is a tear to the ilgament on the inside of the knee.

Anterior cruciate ligament sprain - also called ACL tear or ACL sprain is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in the middle of the knee.

Lateral meniscus tear - or LCL tear is an injury to the cartilage meniscus on the outside of the knee.

Articular cartilage injury - also known as hyalign cartilage injury is damage to the hard cartilage which provides a protective layer over the ends of bone and underside of the kneecap.

Posterior cruciate ligament injury - also called PCL sprain is a tear to the posterior cruciate ligament in the middle of the joint which prevents the knee from being bent back the wrong way.

Patellar dislocation - occurs when the kneecap or patella dislocates, usually round the outside of the knee. It may occur quickly then return back to its normal position.

Less common

Patellar tendon rupture - is a tear to the patella tendon (also known as the patella ligament) which connects the bottom of the kneecap to the front of the tibia or shin bone.

Quadriceps tendon rupture - is a tear or strain of the tendon which inserts from the quadriceps of thigh muscles into the top of the kneecap.

Acute patellofemoral contusion - occurs when there has been a direct blow to the kneecap. Damage or bruising occurs to the articular cartilage under the kneecap.

Lateral ligament sprain - or LCL sprain is a tear to the lateral ligament on the outside of the knee.

Knee bursitis - occurs when a bura or spall sack of fluid in the knee joint becomes inflamed. Housemaids knee is a common name for one form.

Fat pad impingement - also known as Hoffa's pad is where a small fat pad in the knee joint becomes impinged.

Biceps femoris avulsion - occurs when one of the hamstring muscles tears away from the bone as it inserts at the back of the knee.

Tibiofibular joint dislocation - is when the joint between the two shin bones separates.

Dislocated knee is where the femur or thigh bone and the tibia or shin bone are moved apart. This is no the same as a patella dislocation, and is a far more serious and traumatic injury.

Distal Femoral Growth Plate Injury is usually a fracture to the growth plate of the femur or thigh bone at the knee joint end of the bone. This occurs mostly in children and adolescents. Symptoms include pain in and above the knee after a direct impact to the knee or force on the thigh.

Important do not miss

Tibial plateau fracture - is a fracture over the top of the tibia bone (larger shin bone).

Avulsion fracture of the tibial spine

Osteochondritis dissecans - occurs more commonly in adolescents when small fragments of hyaline or articular catrilage come away from the ends of the bone.

Complex regional pain syndrome