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Michigan Sports and Spine

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

Overview
A torn ACL is an injury or teat to the anterior cruciate ligament  (ACL).  The ACL is one of the four main stabilizing ligaments of the knee which attaches the knee end of the femur (thigh bone) at the back of the joint and passes down through the knee joint to the front of the flat upper surface of the tibia (shin bone).  It passes across the knee joint in a diagonal direction and with the PCL passing in the opposite direction, hence, the name cruciate ligaments.  The role of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is to prevent forward movement of the Tibia from underneath the femur. The Posterior Cruciate Ligament prevents movement of the Tibia in a backwards direction. Together these two ligaments are vitally important to the stability of the knee joint, especially in contact sports and those that involve fast changes in direction and twisting and pivoting movements. Therefore a torn ACL has serious implications for the stability and function of the knee joint.

Causes
Twisting force being applied to the knee whilst the foot is firmly planted on the ground or upon landing
Direct blow to the (usually outside) of the knee

Diagnosis
Physical examination
MRI
X-ray

Treatment
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/knee-pain/acl-injury

 

Bursitis

Overview
Knee bursitis is inflammation of a bursa located near your knee joint. A bursa is a small fluid-filled, pad-like sac that reduces friction and cushions pressure points between your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints.  Each of your knees has 11 bursae. While any of these bursae can become inflamed, knee bursitis most commonly occurs over the kneecap or on the inner side of your knee below the joint.

Causes
Overuse
Running
Incorrect training techniques
Tight hamstring muscles
Obesity
Out-turning of the knee or lower leg
Osteoarthritis in the knee
Medial meniscus tear
Frequent and sustained pressure
Infection of the bursa
Direct blow
Excessive kneeling

Symptoms
Vary depending on which bursa is affected and the cause of the inflammation
Feel warm to the touch
Appears swollen or feels squishy to the touch
Pain and tenderness with movement or when pressure is put on it

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-ray
MRI
Ultrasound
Aspiration (removal of fluid)

Treatment
Workout/activity modification
Rest
Application of ice
Anti-inflammatory medication
Injections
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00335 ; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/knee-bursitis/DS00954

 

Jumpers Knee

Overview
The patella tendon / ligament joins the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone or tibia. This tendon is extremely strong and allows the quadriceps muscle group to straighten the leg. The quadriceps actively straighten the knee in jumping to propel the individual off the ground as well as functioning in stabilizing their landing.  As such this tendon comes under a large amount of stress especially in individuals who actively put extra strain on the knee joint such as those who regularly perform sports that involve direction changing and jumping movements. With repeated strain, micro-tears as well as collagen degeneration may occur as a result in the tendon.  This is known and patellar tendinopathy or "jumpers knee."

Causes
Activities/sports that involved direction changing and jumping movements

Symptoms
Pain at the bottom and front of the kneecap especially pressing or palpating
Aching and stiffness after exertion
Pain when contracting the quadriceps muscles
Affected tendon may appear larger than the unaffected side
Calf weakness

Diagnosis
Physical examination
MRI

Treatment
Rest
Training adaption
Cold therapy
Knee support
Sports massage
Eccentric strengthening
Anti-inflammatory medications
Ultrasound or laser therapy
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/knee-pain/jumpers-knee

 

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury

Overview
The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) goes from the top part of the fibula (the bone on the outside of the lower leg) to the outside part of the lower thigh bone.  The ligament helps keep the outer side of the knee joint stable.

Causes
The LCL is usually injured by pressure or an injury that pushes the knee joint from the inside, which results in stress on the outside part of the joint.

Symptoms
Knee swelling
Locking or catching of the knee with movement
Pain or tenderness along the outside of the knee
Knee gives way, or feels like it is going to give way, when it is active or stressed in a certain way

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays
MRI

Treatment
RICE (Rest, Immobilization, Compression, Elevation)
Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory medications
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001079.htm

 

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury

Overview
A medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury is an injury to the ligament on the inner part of the knee. This ligament keeps your shin bone (tibia) in place.  It can be a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament.

Causes
Pressure or stress on the outside part of the knee (ex. a block to the outside part of the knee during football)

Symptoms
Knee swelling
Locking or catching of the knee with movement
The knee gives way or feels like it is going to give way when it is active or stressed in a certain way

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays
MRI

Treatment
RICE (Rest, Immobilization, Compression, Elevation)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001076.htm

 

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