Americans from all walks of life experience knee injuries every year, resulting in pain, decreased function and frustration. Given the complexity of the knee joint, some injuries are treated with physical therapy or simple rehabilitation, while others require surgical intervention for complicated repairs. With an understanding of the anatomy of the knee and its coordinating components, Medical News Today discusses some of the most common knee injuries below.
First, with a system of bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, the knee moves akin to a door hinge. This mechanism allows individuals to bend and straighten their legs for day-to-day tasks, as well as for dynamic sports-related activities. Providing cushion to the bones in the knee and support for ligaments as they move across the bones, cartilage tissue is a critical component of the knee. Moreover, there are four ligaments that hold the bones together, providing stability, while tendons connect supporting muscles to bones in the upper and lower leg.
Now consider the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL. The path of the ACL runs diagonally down the front part of the knee, and provides much needed support to the overall joint. Yet, ACL injuries such as a sprain or tear are common, particularly in athletes that participate in contact sports. As such, the level of injury is related to the position of the knee during impact. For instance, a Posterior Cruciate Ligament injury can occur during a forceful impact while the knee is bent.
On the other hand, a Meniscal Tear is a condition in which cartilage in the knee becomes torn. This may occur during a single event, such as a sports activity, or due to the natural degenerative process over time. Like a ligament or cartilage tear, tendons within the knee can tear as well. A direct impact, serious fall or a hard hit might result in a tear in the patellar tendon. In the same way, collateral ligament tears can happen during a collision or serious car accident.
As a minimally invasive means of diagnosing and treating knee conditions and injuries, knee arthroscopy is a highly effective procedure using a small camera and instruments. Requiring only a small incision, knee arthroscopy can remedy torn ligaments and meniscus, as well as reposition a patella and remove a cyst. Additionally, the procedure can effectively locate and remove pieces of torn cartilage and identify areas of inflammation for more precise treatment.
Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds has devoted his orthopedic practice to minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgeries of the knee, shoulder, elbow and hip. With intricate knowledge and training in complex orthopedic conditions and sports-related injuries, Dr. Reynolds remains a trusted surgeon for knee pain, injuries and ailments.