What is Knee pain?
One of the largest and most essential joints in the body is the knee joint and any sort of injury to this joint will cause utmost inconvenience. The knee joint is a complex assembly of bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Knee pain can be a result of damage to this joint either due to wear and tear or due to sudden impact.
Perhaps the most common cause of injury to the knee is participation in sports activities. Sports activities can place tremendous forces on the knee joint and while most of the time the knee can handle these forces, there are times when they can lead to injury. Some of the more common athletic and sports-related causes of knee pain include the following:
Sports injuries to the knee
One of the major reasons that cause knee injuries is injury sustained during sports related activities. Athletes who are passionate about playing their favourite sport are more prone to be affected by sports injuries to the knee. Knee pain is caused by the following:
Severe knee pain can be caused by the fracture of Patella (knee cap) or the connecting thigh bone or shin bone. Most fractures occur due to a sudden high energy impact such as ball-hitting or high-altitude falls.
A physical injury that causes the bones in the knee to shift out of place is called a dislocation. Dislocation of bones can be caused by traumatic falls, twisting of the knee or high-impact collisions. These injuries are treated by resetting the bone physically.
Knee Tears and Sprains
Athletes who professionally play in high demand sports like football and basketball are much prone to Knee tears. Specialised ligaments and tendons of the knee are damaged while twisting, pivoting tackling and unexpected movement of the joints in high-speed vehicle crashes or sports.
Athletes who professionally play in high demand sports like football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball are more prone to knee tears and sprains. Specialized ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee can be damaged while twisting, pivoting, and tackling. In addition, sudden unexpected movements of the joints in acceleration or deceleration can also cause injury to the knee joint.
- Medial Collateral Ligament sprain or MCL injury – MCL is a ligament tear on the inside of the knee caused due to twisting motion or direct impact.
- Meniscal (Cartilage) Tears – Damage to the meniscus (acts as a cushion to the knee joint) caused mainly due to contact sports.
- Tendon Tears – Tendons attached to the knee cap get stretched or torn. Tendons (which attach muscles to bones) from muscles that support the knee joint can get stretched or torn.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries (ACL) – A rapid change in direction or an improper landing on a jump may cause ACL tears. This is the most common sports injury. Ligaments attach bones to bones and therefore when torn can cause significant joint instability.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament injuries (PCL) – A blow to the front of the knee while the knee is bent may cause PCL tears. This injury can be seen in motor vehicle accidents.