Your knee joint is the most complicated and largest joint of your body. It is also one of the most commonly injured joints in the body, largely thanks to all of the pressure we place on our knees all day every day.
The knee joint consists of bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and other supporting structures that work together to bend and straighten your knees. The complexity of the knee joint and the constant force being applied to them, simply from sitting, walking, and standing, make your knees particularly vulnerable to injuries.
The vast majority of knee pain and injuries result from sports, falls, arthritis, and car accidents. Let’s talk about four of the most frequently reported knee injuries, and where you can go in San Antonio for an efficient orthopedic evaluation and the optimum treatment of your knee.
Types of Knee Injuries
Four of the most common knee injuries include the following:
1. Knee Fractures
A direct blow to your knee can cause a fracture. Any bone in and around the knee can be broken when you suffer high-impact trauma such as a fall, if you crash into something or someone while playing sports, or if you are involved in a car accident.
Age-related osteoporosis can also cause a knee fracture, which is usually a hairline fracture. Sometimes, simply stepping the wrong way can fracture the knee bone if you have osteoporosis.
Knee fractures are severe. Your doctor will immobilize the knee, and your ortho physician may recommend having surgery to repair the fracture. This is usually minimally invasive outpatient surgery.
2. Knee Ligament Injury
Several ligaments stabilize your knee and keep it aligned; a ligament is a strong tissue that connects a bone to another bone in a joint. A knee ligament can be injured if your knee is overextended or moved in an awkward way (such as twisting), where the ligament cannot support the movement. If ligaments are pulled too much, they may stretch or tear.
The two cruciate ligaments are the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. The cruciate ligaments are named for how they cross each other in an “X” shape, and they comprise the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the front of the knee, just behind the kneecap, and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) behind the ACL. A severe ligament tear may need surgery to be performed by an ortho doctor.
3. Knee Dislocation
Knee dislocation occurs when your knee bones are out of their proper placement and alignment. Large impacts to the knee, such as a collision, fall, or car accident, can cause a dislocated knee. Your orthopedic doctor can perform a quick assessment and determine whether your dislocated knee should heal naturally, or whether it is best to have medical treatment to realign the knee and prevent further damage.
4. Torn Meniscus
A meniscal tear is torn cartilage in the knee. The menisci are the two semi-round sections of cartilage in each knee, and they are situated to act as cusions between the thighbone (upper leg bone) and shinbone (large lower leg bone).
Meniscus tears are common during sports activities where jumping or twisting is involved, and when players change direction quickly while running – such as while playing football, tennis, or soccer. Sometimes a meniscus tear can be due to the natural aging process.
Knee Doctor in San Antonio, TX
If you feel chronic pain in your knee, seek the care of an experienced orthopedic knee doctor at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating your knee problems such as knee dislocation, meniscal tear, knee sprain, and more. We provide personalized diagnostic care and surgical or nonsurgical treatment of your knee pain.