Knee Injuries

Every athlete suffers from knee injuries sometime or the other. Knee injuries can be acute or chronic. Acute injuries are abrupt with intense pain, whereas chronic injuries are mostly overuse knee injuries and develop over the time. If an acute knee injury is not treated properly, then it becomes chronic. Similarly chronic injuries can flare up and become acute. We have given below an overview of some common knee injuries suffered by athletes such as dislocated knee, osteoarthritis of the knee, knee sprain, patellar dislocation and tibial plateau fracture. We have given a brief summary about the causes, symptoms and treatment of these conditions. To know more about these conditions and other knee injuries, please visit the complete KNEE INJURIES topics listed on the left side menu where you will find detailed information regarding causes, symptoms, and treatment with rehab exercises.

Dislocated Knee:

Dislocated Knee

This is a condition where there is displacement of the bones which form the knee resulting in knee dislocation. Any injury or damage to the ligaments holding the bones of the knee together results in ligament tear and knee dislocation. Symptoms comprise of acute pain, swelling, bruising, inability to move the knee or bear weight and joint deformity. Causes include highly forceful traumatic injuries such as car crashes, falls and tackling in sports. Treatment comprises of reduction or re-positioning of the joint, surgical reconstruction and rehab program to gain complete range of motion of the knee with its strength and balance.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee:

This is a degenerative knee joint disease resulting from wear and tear of the knee joints and is one of the leading causes of knee pain. Weight bearing joints such as the knee and hip joint are more susceptible to osteoarthritis. Individuals aged 50 and above and especially females are more prone to this condition. Athletes involved in rigorous physical sports such as football are at a higher risk for this condition. There is gradual development of symptoms over the years and include aching pain which is felt deep in the knee, worsening pain after activity, swelling, morning stiffness and cracking sounds upon knee movement. As obesity is one of the causes, treatment comprises of losing weight, wearing braces, NSAIDs for pain, swelling and inflammation relief; cortisone injections and sometimes surgery. During the recovery period the following knee strengthening exercises can be done: Knee extension, knee flexion using resistance band, calf raise and squats. These exercises help in speeding up the recovery process, improving range of motion, flexibility and strength of the knee. To know more about these in detail, please refer to the topic "Knee Injuries" on the left side of the menu.

Knee Sprain:

Knee Sprain

This is one of the common injuries of the knee caused by overstretching of one of the knee ligaments resulting in rupturing or tearing of the ligaments leading to knee sprain. Depending on the severity of the sprain, it is classified into Grade 1, 2 and 3. Causes include forceful movements and forceful trauma to the knee, which causes overstretching of the ligaments, such as seen in sports like football and rugby. Treatment depends on the severity or grade of the sprain and comprise of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Elevate and Compress) therapy, use of crutches for support, NSAIDs, braces of the knee, massage and ultrasound. Strengthening exercises and balance exercises can be done during the recovery period. Surgery is done if the pain does not resolve.

Patellar Dislocation:

This is a condition where the patella (kneecap) moves out of its normal position i.e., from the patellofemoral groove, resulting in severe pain and effusion. Partial dislocation is known as subluxation. Symptoms include pain, swelling, decreased knee mobility. Causative factors include deficient VMO strength, overpronation of the feet and large femoral angle (Q-angle) etc. Treatment includes R.I.C.E. therapy, rest, knee braces, NSAIDs, and in severe cases, surgery. Patient has to undergo a rehabilitation program for six to sixteen weeks regardless of whether the patient had surgery or not. Surgery can be an open or arthroscopic surgery.

Tibial Plateau Fracture:

Tibial Plateau Fracture

Tibial plateau is the upper surface of the tibia (shin bone) and is highly predisposed to fractures. Causes include accidents involving high speed, such as skiing, horse riding and other water sports. Symptoms experienced are pain, swelling, stiffness, inability to bear weight and knee deformity. Treatment depends on the severity of the fracture and is broadly classified into 2 main groups: Displaced and Non-Displaced fractures. To know more in detail, refer to the topic "Tibial Plateau Fracture" under "Knee Injuries" on the left side menu.

Other Knee Injury Topics Which are Covered in This Section:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: March 18, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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