3 Common Knee Injuries that Require Immediate Orthopedic Management

Man having a checkup for his knee injury

Did you know that the knee is the most commonly injured joint in the body? Statistics show that more than six million individuals experienced knee injuries annually in the United States. This includes two million sports-related injuries presenting at the emergency department alone. Due to the rising number of knee injuries worldwide, it is crucial to visit an orthopedic surgeon at the earliest sign of knee joint pain. Most orthopedic surgeons in Provo utilize knee arthroscopy to visualize the underlying bones, tendons, and ligaments when a patient complains of persistent knee discomfort.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most common knee injuries among athletes. This disease is characterized by a tear in the ACL, which is the biggest ligament that connects the thigh and the shin. Since the knee can only tolerate a certain level of trauma and pressure, sudden twisting movement may result to ACL injury.

Athletes with ACL injury initially feel a sudden popping sensation in the knee, which indicates instability of the major ligament that holds two bones together. You may also experience severe pain, swelling, redness, and limitation in range of motion in the knee joint. Due to the debilitating symptoms of ACL injury among athletes, ligament reconstruction and knee arthroscopy are performed to repair the torn structure and restore normal function.

Meniscus Tear

This is another common knee injury among athletes. The meniscus is the cartilage that cushions the two bones comprising the knee joint. It protects the bones from scratching each other, which causes progressive joint deterioration as you age. However, in contact sports such as basketball and football, the joints are susceptible to severe trauma, which may result to a meniscus tear.

Individuals with a torn meniscus may experience severe pain in the affected knee, swelling, and difficulty in ambulation. During the initial time of injury, you may experience minor discomfort. However, progressive pain occurs within 24 to 72 hours after the accident. Therefore, orthopedic surgeons perform arthroscopy to determine the specific location and extent of injury in the knee.

Chondromalacia Patellae

Runner having a knee injury

This, which is more commonly known as runner’s knee, is a condition that often occurs among runners and triathletes. It occurs due to overuse of the knee joint, which leads to the deterioration of the cartilage in the kneecap. Due to repetitive trauma over the surface of the knee, the both bones rub against each other, which results in cartilage loss.

Chondromalacia manifests as progressive pain with associated grinding sensation over the affected knee. Arthroscopic surgery is the first line of treatment to diagnose and treat this disease. This procedure involves cutting some portions of the ligament to relieve tension in the knee.

The knee is a major joint that supports the body and allows flexion and extension of the lower legs. Therefore, orthopedic specialists often perform arthroscopy to determine the cause of pain in obscure knee injuries. This is done to preserve the range of motion of the knees for mobility, coordination, and stability.

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