Treating and Preventing Knee Injuries

Treating and Preventing Knee Injuries

Treating and Preventing Knee Injuries

Treatment and Prevention of Knee InjuriesKnee injuries range from discomfort to career-ending results. Below are some insights to help you in the prevention and treatment of knee injuries.


• Neuromuscular training with bent-knee landing and pivoting can be helpful in injury reduction

• Strength training of thighs, hips and lower leg may help prevent injury
• Proper warm up and stretching may also decrease knee injuries
• Use ice treatment after knee exercise training

Guidelines for Return To Play
• Full weight bearing ability
• Pain resolved or minimized
• Motion up to 90% compared to uninjured knee
• Swelling mostly resolved

Additional Considerations
With any complaint of knee pain, clinicians must also rule out hip or back injury causing referred pain to the knee
• Knee injury may result from bone, ligament, or meniscal trauma
• Combination injuries often occur
• Terrible Triad: Injury to ACL, MCL and medial meniscus

Treatment and Prevention of Knee Injuries

Common Injury Types, Signs and Treatment

Patellar Fracture
Results from direct blow to patella (kneecap)

• Generalized pain or lateral dislocation of patella

• Physical exam and x-rays

• Minimally displaced may be non-operative but displaced/comminuted fractures need surgery. Usually immobilized for 2-4 weeks

Patellar Dislocation
Results from direct blow or twisting injury

• Laterally displaced patella more common than medial

• Physical exam and x-rays will demonstrate lateral dislocation

• Normally non-operative
• Knee sleeve with patellar stabilization
• Crutches and avoidance of twisting motions
• Physical therapy

Meniscus Injury
Results from rotation stress on a weight-bearing knee

• Medial or lateral joint line tenderness
• Locking, clicking, popping sensations in knee

• Clinical knee exam
• MRI may be done

• Surgical repair or debridement

Ligamentous Injury
• Results from direct or indirect trauma to knee
• Often occurs when body rotates around a fixed/planted foot

• ACL-can be from non-contact deceleration injury such as landing from jumps
• PCL-often results from hyperextension of knee; common dashboard injury in car accidents
• MCL-results from direct blow to outside of knee (valgus force)
• LCL-results from blow to inside of knee (varus). Less common than MCL injury

• Instability, giving way
• Tenderness over inside or outside of knee

• Clinical knee exam
• MRI may be done for confirmation

• Surgical reconstruction for ACL via patient’s own tissue (autograft) or cadaver tissue (allograft)
• No surgery usually needed for PCL, MCL, LCL injuries
• Physical therapy for operative and non-operative injuries

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