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Knee Injuries
ACL Injury
The ACL injury is the most common injury to the knee. This ligament prevents the lower leg from moving forward on the upper leg. The mechanism of injury is from a twisting motion when the foot is firmly planted. The degree of severity ranges from a mild stretch of the fibers (Grade I) to complete rupture of the ligament (Grade III). The individual may feel or hear a "pop" with associated swelling. The individual may also report a feeling of "giving out" of the knee, limiting the function of the knee. An orthopedic specialist will be required to diagnose and recommend treatment options for the injury.
MCL Injury
This ligament lies along the inside of the knee and can be damaged by direct trauma from the outside of the knee towards the inside while the foot is planted. The individual may experience pain while walking, climbing stairs, and prolonged sitting. A Rehabilitation expert may be required to work with the individual to reestablish range of motion and strength.
Meniscus Injuries
Commonly called torn cartilage, this is an injury to one of the two circular pads between the upper and lower legs. They function to decrease shock to the knees and distribute weight bearing forces through the legs. The mechanism of injury is a compression force associated with a twisting motion. A "pop" may be heard, but there is usually increased pain along the joint line of the knee. Signs and symptoms include pain, swelling, knee "locking up" or the feeling that the knee is stuck, and difficulty with walking and stairs. An orthopedic consultation is suggested to rule out trauma to other structures.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is categorized by pain in the front of the knee. It is sometimes caused by wearing down, roughening or softening of the cartilage under the kneecap, due to overuse and excess weight, but can also be caused by blunt force trauma to the knee. The injury could result in muscle imbalances, walking abnormalities or misalignment of the knee caps. Individuals suffering from such an injury should consult with an orthopaedic specialist for management of the injury.
Injuries to the ligaments in a joint. The knee has four main stabilizing ligaments, any of which can cause problems if torn.
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