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Knee Injuries, Pain, and Treatment

Doctor checking patient with knees to determine the cause of illness.

Doctor checking patient with knees to determine the cause of illness.

The knee is an important weight-bearing joint and is formed by the lower end of the femur, upper end of the tibia (leg bone) and patella (knee cap). The knee consists of two compartments, medial (inner) and lateral (outer) compartments. The stability of the knee is provided mainly by the ligaments of the knee. The knee is one of the commonly injured joints in sports as well as in other injuries.

Common Knee Conditions

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear: Anterior Cruciate ligament is torn while its ability to withstand the load is overcome by the force of injury. ACL is commonly injured with twisting injury to the knee, hyperextension injury and the abnormal sideway opening of the joint ( varus or valgus).

Meniscus tears and management: Meniscus is the shock absorber of the knee. Only the outer margins of this structure have a blood supply and most of the inner regions lack any blood supply. Because of this only tears occurring in outer margins have the potential to heal. Meniscus tears occur in various patterns. Meniscus tear can produce symptoms like pain, repeated joint swellings (effusions), locking and catching. Cartilage Injuries: Cartilage is responsible for the smooth gliding movements of the joint. Cartilage injuries can occur along with ACL ruptures at the time of injury or because of the repeated instability associated with ACL deficient knee.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury

Compared to ACL injuries, PCL injuries are rare and mostly missed. They occur in road traffic accidents and falls. PCL injuries cause the tibia to move backward abnormally.

Knee Dislocation

Knee dislocations are rare but can be devastating. They are associated with multi-ligament injuries.

Collateral Ligament Injuries

The Medial Collateral ligament which supports the inner aspect of the knee is commonly injured. MCL injuries are graded according to the severity.

Patella Dislocation

The patella ( knee cap ) is also the source of many problems. The kneecap moves in a groove of the femur during knee flexion and extension. In some patients, the kneecap slips out of the groove and comes to lie on the outer aspect of the knee. Many factors like, muscle imbalance, altered anatomical development, and ligament laxity play a role in the causation of this problem.

Knee Pain

Knee pain is very common in young as well as old people. Not every knee pain is associated with structural damage. However, the cause of the knee pain has to be assessed clinically.


Synovium is the lining membrane of the joint which secretes the joint fluid. The synovium can be affected in many diseases processes leading to swelling of the membrane, fluid collection.