Common Sport Injuries: The Knee

By: Maddie Speanburg

Common sport related knee injuries:

  • In athletes, the most common acute injuries are ACL and MCL sprains. A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. An ACL injury can occur when an athlete changes direction quickly, stops suddenly, or lands from a jump. MCL injuries often occur in contact sports when the outside of the knee joint is struck.


  • Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments. Changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump incorrectly can tear the ACL.
ACL tear:

ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament( mainly called your ACL) , inside your knee joint. Most commonly occurs during sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction

Normal Knee:

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NORMAL ACL vs. TEAR ACL

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symptoms

  • A loud "pop" sound
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activity
  • Knee swelling that usually worsens for hours after the injury occurs
  • A feeling of instability or "giving way" with weight bearing
  • Loss of full range of motion
  • Tenderness along the joint line
  • Discomfort while walking

treatment goals:

The goals of treatment for an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury are to:



  • Restore normal or almost normal stability in the knee
  • Restore the level of function you had before the knee injury
  • Limit loss of function in the knee
  • Prevent injury or more damage to other knee structures
  • Reduce pain
  • prevent osteoarthritis

treatment options:

  • Nonsurgical treatment only, such as a physical rehab program
  • ACL surgery to reconstruct the ACL or to reconstruct it and repair other injuries, such as a meniscus tear

How to prevent this from happening:

  • Get in the habit of landing and bending their knees with proper mechanics
  • develop and maintain strength and endurance in your lower extermities
  • to promote stability in the knee, perform closed-chain exercises. ( leg presses, squats, lunger) as part of your strength-training program.
  • do some cross-training in your cardiovascular workout using the stairclimber, stationary bike, elliptical trainer or ski machine.