The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. With numerous components, it is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics. While many knee injuries can be successfully treated without surgery, others require more invasive measures.
Aging and continual wear and stress on the knee joint often results in issues. Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains it.
Common injuries include:
- Fractures – Most commonly the patella (kneecap) is broken by falls from significant heights and motor vehicle collisions
- Dislocations – Occurs when the bones of the knee are forced out of alignment, either completely or partially
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – These injuries happen often during sports activities, such as changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament – These injuries commonly result from a blow to the front of the knee while the knee is bent
- Collateral Ligament Injuries – Usually caused by a force that pushes the knee sideways
- Meniscal Tears – Can occur when twisting, cutting, pivoting or being tackled during high-energy sports activities
- Tendon Tears – Common among middle-aged people who play running or jumping sports
Rest, ice, gentle compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can help speed recovery. Be sure to seek treatment as soon as possible, especially if you:
- Hear a popping noise and feel your knee give out at the time of injury
- Have severe pain
- Cannot move the knee
- Begin limping
- Have swelling at the injury site
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