The knee is one of the most common areas of the body to become injured. Typically, a knee injury is caused by twisting or applying direct force to the knee. Many knee injuries occur from falls and sporting accidents. Often the primary symptom of knee injury includes knee pain with swelling and bruising. The type of injury determines the severity of the problem and the treatment used. This article will provide information on the different types of knee injuries in Portland.
1. Knee Sprains
Ligaments hold the knee together by stabilizing the knee and maintaining alignment. The posterior cruciate ligament and anterior cruciate ligament cross each other stabilizing movement from the front to back. The lateral collateral and medial collateral ligaments ensure that the knee bones do not slide from left to right (or right to left). Knee sprains typically arise if these ligaments are damaged.
The severity of the knee sprain is determined by the amount of ligament stretching or tearing. Grade 1 sprains include stretched ligaments without any tears or instability. Grade 2 sprains occur when the ligaments are partially torn with mild instability. Grade 4 sprains involve completely torn ligaments with full instability.
2. Knee Strains
Knee strains are caused by the stretching of muscles or tendons around the knee. This is usually an indication of hyperextension or hyperflexion of the knee. Strains can cause pain outside of the knee joint, as well as a dysfunction in the motion of the knee.
3. Knee Bursitis
Knee bursitis is a case of swelling, infection or irritation in the bursa. The bursa is a pouch around the knee acting as a “cushion” to reduce friction between tendons, muscles, and tissue. The two main bursas in the knee include the patella (kneecap) and another below the knee joint near the tibia bone.
4. Joint Dislocation
Knee joint dislocation occurs when the knee receives a high-impact injury, such as in the cases of sporting accidents. This is the least common type of knee injury in Portland and can result in severe damage to ligaments, tendons, nerves around the knee and blood vessels. A dislocation often involves the patella moving to the side of the knee. It can be extremely painful but is not life-threatening. Knee joint dislocations can be treated by splinting, physical therapy or “popping” it back into position.
5. Knee Fractures
A knee fracture is often a result of direct blows to the kneecap. The patella can fracture if the individual falls directly onto their knees and the force cracks the bone. A tibial plateau fracture occurs when there is a collapse in the top of the tibia bone, often caused by sudden compression injuries. It is most common among people with osteoporosis.