Common Knee Injuries You Should Be Aware Of
A knee injury can happen to anyone, from professional athletes to regular people. Whether a strenuous physical activity, an unfortunate fall, or a motor accident, common knee injuries can result from various circumstances.
Whatever the cause may be, knee injuries can lead to debilitating pain and hamper everyday life activities. If your knee is troubling you, you should act proactively to rule out anything serious.
What are knee injuries?
To understand what are knee injuries, let’s first understand the basic structure of the knee. Broadly speaking, the knee consists of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
All these work together to provide stability and range of motion while performing various physical activities. The knee is considered to be injured when there’s trauma to any of these vital components.
Depending on the type and seriousness of the injury, anything from home care and treatment to surgery may be required.
You should consult a doctor and get your knee checked if you experience knee pain or suspect a knee injury. If these injuries aren’t treated on time, they can deteriorate over time and cause long-term damage.
Common knee injuries type
Here are some common types of knee injuries described in more detail.
A fracture can happen in any knee bone, although it often occurs in the patella or kneecap. Significant trauma to the knee could result in a fracture, like during a fall or an accident.
Posterior cruciate ligament injury
Trauma to the knee when it’s in the bent position can injure the posterior cruciate ligament. This is possible during a vehicular accident or a fall.
This type of injury is common in sports activities where forceful motions like turning, twisting, or blocking are prevalent. These tears may also have age-related and degenerative causes.
Anterior cruciate ligament injury
An injury like a tear in the ACL is common in athletes but isn’t restricted to them. Sudden direction changes while moving or landing in the wrong position while jumping can cause ACL injuries.
These may require surgery, depending on the severity.
A partial or total misalignment of the knee bones is referred to as knee dislocation. The damaging impact caused by motor accidents or rigorous sports activities can lead to dislocation.
Sometimes dislocation may also result from existing structural abnormalities in the knee.
This condition occurs when the tendon between the shinbone and the kneecap suffers an injury that leads to inflammation. Excessive jumping movement is one common cause of patellar tendinitis.
Causes and symptoms of common knee injuries
There are many possible causes of knee injuries. It could be extreme trauma sustained during an accident or a physical sport.
Overstressing or improperly using the joint over time while playing a sport or even doing routine jobs can lead to knee issues. The degenerative effect of ageing on the knee joint can make it more vulnerable to injuries, even during regular movements.
If you have a prior history of a knee injury, then you’re at risk for future injuries.
While knee injuries symptoms are determined by the underlying cause of the injury, inflammation and pain in the area are some usual indicators to look out for.
Here are some general symptoms that can help you evaluate if your knee is injured:
- Pain in the knee that makes it difficult to walk, use the stairs, or make any knee-related movements
- The knee feels too weak to bear any weight
- A sensation of instability and stiffness in the knee
- The knee looks swollen and reddish
- A pop sound that’s accompanied by intense pain
How are knee injuries diagnosed?
The knee injuries diagnosis consists of different steps. When you approach your doctor for your knee injury, they’ll start by doing a physical exam.
Any visible or tangible symptoms like pain, bruising, inflammation, and tenderness will be noted. They’ll try to assess the mobility of your knee joint through various knee movements like extension, rotation, bending, etc.
Your doctor may order an imaging test to get a better look at the knee, like a CT scan, X-ray, and MRI. Additional tests like bloodwork and arthrocentesis may be ordered if your knee shows signs of an infection.
How are knee injuries treated?
The knee injuries treatment covers a wide range of options. For some types of knee pain, medicines may be recommended.
Certain exercises or physiotherapy that increase the joint’s strength and flexibility may be advised to reduce the pain. Some injuries may need to be treated via procedures that include partial or total knee replacement, arthroscopy, osteotomy, kneecap replacement, aspiration, etc.
The initial self-care for a knee injury is also important. To start with, you should give complete rest to your knee to avoid aggravating it any further, including not rubbing or massaging it.
You can apply an ice pack to bring down the inflammation.
You should plan a visit to a trusted doctor to diagnose the exact problem and get the most suitable treatment for your knee injury.
Seek help from the right doctor
For knee-related injuries, it’s best to get advice from a specialist immediately. An orthopedic physician or surgeon is the right person to approach and discuss your issue.
You should consult an orthopedist with an extensive background in treating knee injuries.
How to prevent knee injuries?
Taking some precautions in everyday life can help in avoiding stressing and injuring the knee. These precautions are all the more necessary if you play sports or participate in rigorous activities.
Proper warm-up before and adequate cool-down after any workout or sport is essential. Wear any necessary safety gear or equipment for your knees.
Be more mindful of your movements, avoiding any shock or stress to the knee.
It’s essential to be vigilant about the symptoms of a knee injury. Sometimes the injury may be mild and self-heal over time. Other times, however, it may be major enough to require surgery. Hence, you should seek medical attention to be safe.
Reach out to the CK Birla Hospital at Gurugram or book an appointment with Dr Debashish Chanda to get the best consultation for your knee injury.
Q. How do I know if my knee injury is serious?
A. Some telltale signs of a problematic knee injury that needs urgent attention include redness, warm to touch, tenderness, swelling or inflammation, not being able to move the knee or lay weight on it, significant pain, etc.
Q. How do I know if I tore something in my knee?
A. When there’s a tear in your knee ligament, you might hear a pop sound at the time of the tear. Eventually, other symptoms like pain, discomfort, inflammation, and difficulty moving the knee may appear.
Q. How long do knee injuries take to heal?
A. The healing time for a knee injury depends on its type, severity, and treatment care. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Following all recovery instructions is important to ensure proper and timely healing.
Q. What happens if a knee injury goes untreated?
A. If your knee injury is serious, then not getting it treated on time will only worsen it leaving you vulnerable to developing more injuries and chronic issues. Reach out to a specialist to explore the apt treatment options for your knee injury.