The knee is the largest joint in your body and one of the most complex. It is also vital to movement. Your knee ligaments connect your thighbone to your lower leg bones. Knee ligament sprains or tears are common sports injuries. Tears and injuries to the knee ligaments include:
ACL injuries: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee. The incidence of ACL injury is higher in people who participate in high-risk sports, such as basketball, football, skiing, and soccer. Learn more about Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
PCL injuries: The posterior cruciate ligament is located in the back of the knee. It is one of several ligaments that connect the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). The posterior cruciate ligament keeps the tibia from moving backwards too far. An injury to the posterior cruciate ligament requires a powerful force – for example, a bent knee hitting a dashboard in a car accident or a football player falling on a knee that is bent. Learn more about PCL injury (posterior cruciate ligament)
MCL injuries: An MCL injury is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The MCL keeps the knee from bending inward. Learn more about MCL Injuries
Meniscus/Cartilage Tear: The meniscus is a C-shaped cushion of cartilage in the knee joint that keeps your knee steady by balancing weight across the knee. A meniscus tear is a common injury that can be caused by twisting or turning quickly, lifting something heavy, or playing sports. It will often cause pain with pivoting and squatting, and may give a feeling as though something is catching in the knee. Treatment of meniscus tear can be nonoperative, or occasionally may require surgical repair or trimming of the damaged meniscus tissue. Without the meniscus cushion, persistent knee pain and arthritis can develop. Learn more about Torn cartilage
Arthritis of the Knee:
Arthritis is a common disease that affects the bones in your knees. The cartilage in the knee can gradually wear away, causing pain and swelling. Although there are many types of arthritis, most knee pain is caused by one of three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis. This is an age-related “wear and tear” type of arthritis. It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older, but may occur in younger people, too. The cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee softens and wears away. The bones then rub against one another, causing knee pain and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis. This is a disease in which the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of a group of disorders termed “inflammatory arthritis.”
Post-traumatic arthritis. This can follow a serious knee injury. Fractures of the bones surrounding the knee or tears of the knee ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time, causing knee pain and limiting knee function.
Other Knee Conditions:
There are a variety of other knee conditions that can cause knee pain and can be the result of an active lifestyle, repetitive motion, overuse, or aging. Click here to learn about other common knee conditions including:
Patello Femoral Pain Syndrome