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Knee Injuries

Knee Injuries

ACL Tears

A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is unfortunately too common in sports that involve sudden stops and direction changes. Athletes in football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball are especially prone to ACL tears.

anteriorSymptoms include swelling, instability and pain in the knee joint. Treatment may include surgery and rehab therapy. If your sport is one of those mentioned above, consider a training program like The EDGE to help you stay injury free.

Prevention:

  • Maintain and boost strength and improve muscle balances in lower body, especially in hamstrings and calf muscles
  • Improve proprioception (mindful awareness of body position in space)
  • Learn and develop solid landing techniques following jumps
  • Perform a proper dynamic warm up before intense activity
  • Increase agility and coordination
  • Improve core and buttock strength
  • Use correct footwear for each activity

Meniscal Tears

A torn meniscus is a common knee injury. Twisting one’s knee — especially with weight on it — can lead to a torn meniscus. The injury causes pain, swelling and stiffness, and you may have trouble extending your knee.

meniscusRest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication will reduce the pain of your injury, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed to give the injury time enough to heal. Often, however, a torn meniscus requires arthroscopic surgery to repair it enough to heal fully and allow a return to full function.

Prevention:

  • Maintain and boost strength and muscle balances in lower body, especially in hamstrings and calf muscles
  • Improve proprioception (mindful awareness of body position in space)
  • Learn and develop solid landing techniques following jumps
  • Perform a proper dynamic warm up before intense activity
  • Increase agility and coordination
  • Improve core and buttock strength
  • Use correct footwear for each activity

Osgood – Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease occurs most often in young athletes in sports that involve running, jumping and swift changes of direction, like soccer, basketball and football. It causes a painful lump below the kneecap. It may also affect children and adolescents experiencing growth spurts.

Seek medical attention if knee pain keep young athletes or children from routine daily activities. Also seek medical attention if the knee is also swollen and red, or if the knee pain is present with fever or a locking of or instability of the knee joint.

Prevention: In addition to the prevention steps noted with the meniscus tear above, we recommend:

  • Regular static stretching after activity to increase flexibility, especially in the quadriceps
  • Increase core and buttock strength
  • Avoid intense or prolonged activity on harder surfaces, like concrete. Instead, opt for slightly softer gym floors, asphalt, or grass
  • Make more gradual increases in training volume and intensity

Patellar Tendinitis

Sometimes referred to as Jumper’s Knee, this is an injury to the patellar tendon which connects your kneecap (patella) to your shin. A healthy patellar tendon is essential for kicking, running, and jumping. As such, it is most common in basketball and volleyball athletes, but anyone can get patellar tendinitis.

Treatment of patellar tendinitis begins with physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee. See prevention of Osgood-Schlatter Disease for steps to avoid both these injuries.

Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)knee

Runner’s Knee is common in athletes, and the cause is most often thought of as incorrect tracking of the knee cap over the shin bone. Over use or sudden increases in use can bring about symptoms, including knee pain, tenderness around the inside edge of the knee cap, and swelling. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) help reduce pain and swelling, allowing the condition to heal. A correct diagnosis of the cause is often, however, key to proper treatment.

Prevention:

  • Maintain strong and flexible thigh muscles
  • Correct footwear for one’s personal bio-mechanics
  • Make only gradual increases in training volume and intensity (runners should increase their weekly mileage, for example, by no more than 10% per week)