Cartilage and Ligament Knee Injuries


The knee joint meniscus cartilage is often injured due to cutting, pivoting and impact sports, such as skiing. Some work injuries also involve cartilage and ligament damage. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee and is commonly treated by our orthopedic specialist.

Meniscal tears are another common injury affecting the knee joint that our orthopedic specialist treats. This is usually the result of either a trauma or degeneration. Meniscus tears can happen during sports, like twisting your knee during a squat or getting tackled in football. Degeneration can occur in older patients since cartilage weakens over time. Tears can be minor with the meniscus staying connected to the knee, or major, with the meniscus barely attached to the knee by a cartilage thread.

Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint, leading to arthritis. Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee issues include the following:

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Sprained Knee Ligaments

A sprained or strained knee ligament or muscle is usually caused by a hit or sudden twist of the knee. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.

Torn Knee Cartilage

Trauma to the knee can rip the menisci, or pads of connective tissue, and cartilage tears often occur with sprains. Treatment options by our orthopedic specialist may involve wearing a brace or surgery may be needed for more severe tears.

Knee Tendonitis

Inflammation of the tendons happens when the tendon is overused during physical activities such as running, jumping, or cycling. Tendonitis of the patellar tendon is specifically called jumper’s knee, which occurs with sports like basketball due to the force of hitting the ground after jumping.

Knee Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee in middle age and older people. This degenerative process happens when the cartilage in the joint gradually thins. Being overweight and repeated injury also contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. However, rheumatoid arthritis occurs in younger people and affects the joint by depleting the cartilage in the knee. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the knees by causing the joint to become inflamed and by destroying the knee cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects persons at an earlier age than osteoarthritis.

Knee Ligaments

Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect ACL Knee Injurybones in our body and provide stability and strength to the joint. The knee has four major ligaments connecting the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone):

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) the ligament in the center of the knee that controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) the ligament in the center of the knee that controls backward movement of the tibia
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) the ligament that gives stability to the inner knee
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) the ligament that gives stability to the outer knee

The ACL is the most common knee ligament to be injured and our orthopedic specialist specializes in highly advanced treatment options that reduce recovery time and decrease pain. It is often stretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion, like in skiing, basketball, or football.

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is also a common knee ligament to become injured in the knee. However, the PCL injury usually occurs with sudden, direct impact, such as in a motor vehicle accident or during a football tackle.

Our doctors are Orthopedic Surgeons specializing in minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery – should you require surgical intervention. Although surgery could alleviate your pain, our doctors will do their best to avoid surgical intervention as many injuries can be treated through conservative measures such as medication and rehabilitation therapy.

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