Knee injuries are common amongst the general population, ranging from the elite to the everyday athlete and from the young to the elderly.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and it is also one of the most complex. The knee joint is made up of four bones, which are connected by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The fibula is the smaller shin bone, next to the tibia. The patella or knee cap, is the small bone in the front of the knee. It slides up and down in a groove in the femur (the femoral groove) as the knee bends and straightens.
Common knee injuries include sprains and strains, generalized knee pain, ligament damage, and structural changes. All of these knee injuries can be managed and treated by your knee therapist. Significant ligament damage and some structural damage to the knee will require surgical intervention. Your PT will be able to help maintain existing function and movement of your knee until surgery. After surgery, knee rehabilitation with your therapist will be able to return you to pre-injury movement and function.
There are many different types of knee injuries, there are 4 major knee ligaments that can be damaged and result in a knee injury. These knee ligaments include:
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
- Anterior Cruciate ligament (ACL)knee
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
There are many other structures that can be damaged in your knee that result in knee pain such as meniscal injuries, bursitis, cartilage issues or fractures or dislocations.
All of these knee problems can be accurately assessed and diagnosed by your PT, if not will be referred to a orthopedic physician for further evaluation.
Knee treatment may involve stretching, strengthening exercises, reduction of acute knee pain through RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), proprioception and balance exercises. Most importantly working on preventative exercises to minimize the risk of knee injury again.