Leading an active lifestyle makes a person prone to knee injuries. Spine Center of Texas advises active individuals to learn about knee injuries so they can take proper precautions. This week, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about knee pain management.
Many knee injury cases are linked with non-contact mechanisms. Loss of balance and knee torquing in the wrong direction are the most common causes of injuries, because they create forceful load that damages the knee’s meniscus or ligament(s). Patients with injured knees often experience a pop or click and pain and tenderness in the area. They subsequently have swelling, tenderness, and experience pain whenever there’s knee movement. Such complex signs and symptoms require medical attention.
The Anatomy and Functions of the Knee
Our knee’s unique design enables us to do synchronous movement. The knee moves and operates in such a dynamic way. Our bones, ligament(s), articular cartilage, and meniscus fibrocartilage work together.
In the upper portion of our knee bone is the femur. The femur is covered with an articular cartilage surface that enables it to bear weight and perform motions with less friction. On the other hand, the tibia, or our knee’s lower portion, is covered with articular cartilage. It has two semilunar fibrocartilages on the surface called medial and lateral menisci. Menisci are strong structures that help distribute load and provides lubrication and stability.
The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is attached to the back of the femur and the front of the tibia. The ACL’s major function is to prevent the tibia from moving forward. It also stabilizes the knee’s side to side motion. Therefore, an ACL tear poses as a major problem for athletes.
The posterior cruciate ligament or PCL connects the femur and tibia and prevents the tibia from moving backward. PCL injuries occur when the knee gets bent, especially during motorcycle accidents. However, several studies have demonstrated that it is still possible for athletes with torn PCLs to still to do well in sports.
Our knee’s unique anatomy enables us to effectively distribute compression, tension, and shear. When a knee is injured, the integrity of this wonderful system is lost or diminished and can lead to functional disability, instability, and higher probability for joint degeneration.