In America, the knee is among the most frequently injured joints in the body. A study conducted out of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital evaluated knee injuries in the U.S. from 1999 through 2008. They found that over 6.6 million knee injuries were reported to emergency departments across America between that 9-10 year span.
There are many different types of knee injuries that can occur. The knee is made of bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The bones that comprise the knee are the femur, patella, and tibia. There is cartilage throughout the knee, but in general, the purpose of cartilage is to provide a smooth surface between bones and allow for shock absorption to reduce damage to the knee. The tendons connect the muscle and the bone; and the ligaments are what connect the bones to the other bones.
One of the most common components of the knee to experience injury are the ligaments. Knee sprains and strains accounted for 42.1% of the knee injuries between 1999 and 2008. In a knee sprain, the ligaments used to maintain relative positions of the bones are stretched rapidly. Often times, athletes experience sprains after making quick, forceful changes in direction – usually while running or jumping. The extent of the sprain may be organized between three different grades:
- Grade one – ligaments stretch and produce a painful sensation, however, the ligament fibers remain intact.
- Grade two – the ligaments may experience small tears within the fibers. The individual might experience a slight reduction in mobility.
- Grade three – the ligament is torn completely. The individual will almost certainly experience a reduction if not loss of mobility within the knee.
Knee dislocations occur far less frequently than knee sprains. In a knee dislocation, the patella, or knee bone, is forced out of its position in the front of the knee, usually laterally. This dislocation can be excruciating and will usually require emergency treatment. Due in part to the complex connections within and around the patella, many other components of the knee can be injured as the result of a dislocation.
Dislocations tend to occur from high impact collisions – such as car accidents. The emergency treatment can be expensive. If you suffered a knee injury from a car accident, talk to a personal injury lawyer. Depending on the details of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for damages and you may have your medical expenses reimbursed. In the event you feel any pain or are having any doubts, contact Potomac MD knee doctor and locals.
Thank you to the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for providing more insight on knee injuries.