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 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 ACL vs. TEAR ACL
- 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
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
- 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.