Your knee is a complex joint with many components, which makes it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a knee injury is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors. In 2010, there were roughly 10.4 million patient visits to doctors’ offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears.
Knee injuries can cause pain, tenderness, swelling, reduced movement of the knee, or bruising. The knee joint may feel unstable, causing you to start walking with a limp. Treating the knee injury is dependent on several factors, including the injured ligament and how active or sporty you are. The ligaments around the knee are strong but can get injured sometimes. The rupture or tear can either be partial or complete, but a majority of knee ligament injuries are sprains. Various accidents can cause injury to your knee. These include:
- A direct blow to your knee or knocking something with your knee
- Moving your knee outside its usual range, for instance during a fall, a sudden movement or after a sudden movement.
Today we discuss four types of knee injuries that have the potential to be serious. If you have any of the following injuries, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible to ensure the best chance for recovery.
- Medial collateral ligament injury
This injury can happen in any sport and affects people from all age groups. It happens when you stretch out your leg in front, and something knocks the outer side of your knee at the same time, for instance in a football tackle or during rugby.
- Lateral collateral ligament injury
These are less common than medial collateral injuries because your other leg protects you against the injury of the inner side of your knee. Lateral collateral injury occurs when there is a direct blow on the inner side of your knee. Still, the injury can take place if you stretch out one of your legs in front and fail to bring the other one along for protection.
- Anterior cruciate ligament injury
Anterior cruciate injury occurs during sports such as tennis, football, basketball, and skiing. It happens when you land on your leg and then quickly twist or pivot your knee to the opposite direction. Women are more likely to get the ACL injury although experts are not sure why this is the case. About half of the people with ACL also have their meniscus or other ligament injured in the same knee.
- Posterior cruciate ligament injury
Injuries to this ligament are the least common because the PCL is stronger and wider than the other ligaments. You can injure your PCL in a car accident when you hit dashboard with your bent knee, when you fall onto your bent knee or when something hits your knee from the front with your foot to the ground. With PCL, it may take a while to realize that there is a problem. However, you may feel pain when running or when going up or down or feel unstable when walking on uneven ground.