Anatomically there are many different parts of the knee from the bones that come together at the knee to the muscles that allow the knee to move. And because knees are the part of our body that basically lets us do different activities like running or standing up from a chair all of these parts need to function properly for us to be able to live our daily lives without pain or other inflammation symptoms that accompany different knee injuries and disorders. So you need to know a few of the most common injuries and disorders to the knees so you can avoid them and live longer without feeling like something is wrong with your knees.
One of the most common injuries to the knees that aren’t that severe but still very painful are sprains. A sprain means that the knee is stressed from a specific direction but because the ligament at the same time is trying to hold the knee together it pushes back to the stress and that results in stretch or tear of the knee fibers. There are three grade sprains which each is more severe than the previous one:
- First grade sprains – these sprains happen when the fibers of your knee are stretched. You will experience some pain but the injury won’t be as bad and will heal quite quickly.
- Second grade sprains – these occur when the fibers in your knee are partially torn but the ligament is still intact meaning that you will need some time to heal the fibers in your knee before you will be able to do vigorous activities again.
- Third grade sprains – these type of sprains mean that that you have not only torn the fibers of your knee but the ligament too so it is completely disrupted and the injury by its nature is quite serious.
Then there are also injuries called strains that mainly occur after overuse of the knees. Although the levels of strains are basically the same as sprains (first grade strain as disruption to the fibers to third grade strain as ligament tear) the way you can get this injury is completely different. If people sprain their knee usually because they have twisted or otherwise damaged that knee for example by doing sports then strains are more common injury when people perform the same action for a long time and this action puts stress on the knees causing the strain.
ACL, MCL or LCL injury
Also when it comes to knees injuries called ACL, MCL or LCL injuries can be heard very often. These are injuries to a specific ligaments when these ligaments are sprained or strained and usually occur when you receive a blow to your knee. ACL injury happens when the blow comes from front or back but MCL and LCL injuries happed when the blow comes from the side. These injuries are quite serious and usually takes quite some time to heal with having to have a surgery in more severe cases. After the injury is healed usually patients have to do physical therapy so that their knees start properly functioning again.
Common injury after you traumatize your knee is something called Bursitis or when the fluid filled sac of your knee which helps with the friction between the bones that meet at the knee and which is called bursa is inflamed. If your knee is swelled, tender and you experience pain when you move your knee most likely you have bursitis, because you knee is infected and inflamed. You can get bursitis even after the smallest of injuries to your knees for example after you receive a blow to your knees or just move it the wrong way. And although it is very treatable injury it also tends to be very painful and uncomfortable.
I can bet that at least somebody you know has had a meniscus tear because although meniscus injuries are very serious they also are quite common because it can occur just by twisting your knee the wrong way. If you have twisted your leg at the knee and afterwards the knee slowly starts to become painful and start to swell then it is likely they you have torn your meniscus. And even if at first it doesn’t seem like you need to visit a doctor over time the pain and swelling can become very bad and then you should go to a doctor right away.
An overuse injury that many athletes or just active people have is so called “runner’s knee”. This term is usually used to describe multiple different knee disorders that all occur because of overuse of the knee – a lot of repeated activity without giving the knees support they need. The most common disorder to which is referred with the term runner’s knee is PFPS or patellofemoral pain syndrome. This syndrome usually occurs from stress that is applied to the knees causing irritation where the the kneecap (medically known as patella hence the name of the syndrome) rests on the thighbone. You can prevent this injury form happening by exercising on softer surfaces, stretching, getting running shoes with good support as well as limiting your activities if you start to feel any pain.
Another injury that is more common among teenagers is a dislocated knee and it means that a bone is pushed out of its normal place. This kind of injury can happen either from blows, falls or even from sudden movements and basically the only remedy here is to pop the bone back into its place so that any more damage like tissue or nerve tiers don’t happens and you are not left with more severe injury.
Probably the injury that is the worst of all of the possible knee injuries but that is also not uncommon is different fractures or breaks. Like I mentioned before knee is the place where four different bones meet, which is why it is possible to fracture any of these four bones. Fractures usually occur when the knees receive a hard blow which displaces or ever breaks the bone and you will need to either wear an immobilizing knee brace until the bones are healed again or sometimes even a surgery is needed to repair the bones and place them back in the right position.
And lastly arthritis (and other similar conditions) can cause knee injuries too. Arthritis is a disorder that causes inflammation to the joints but because there are quite a few types of arthritis and other conditions that are similar to it you could say that they all can result in injuries to the knees. Because arthritis by itself causes inflammation and pains to the joints if you receive any blow to your joints with this condition then it can quickly escalate to more severe injury. The treatment for arthritis depends on the type and severity of the arthritis but mainly the goal is to relieve the pain and inflammation caused by the arthritis so that it doesn’t affect your daily life and doesn’t escalate into worse condition.