Worthing Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic

 

 

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The Knee

Lateral View of the Knee

    Osteoarthritis.

Most people with knee problems have a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis. In this disease, the cartilage gradually wears away and changes occur in the adjacent bone. Osteoarthritis may be caused by joint injury or being overweight. It is associated with aging and most typically begins in people age 50 years or older. A young person who develops osteoarthritis typically has had an injury to the knee or may have an inherited form of the disease.

   Chondromalacia.

refers to softening of the articular cartilage of the kneecap. This disorder occurs most often in young adults and can be caused by injury, overuse, misalignment of the patella, or muscle weakness. Instead of gliding smoothly across the lower end of the thigh bone, the knee cap rubs against it, thereby roughening the cartilage underneath the knee cap. The damage may range from a slightly abnormal surface of the cartilage to a surface that has been worn away to the bone. A blow to the knee cap may tear off either a small piece of cartilage or a large fragment containing a piece of bone (osteochondral fracture).

    Meniscal injuries.

The menisci (commonly referred to as ‘Cartilage’) can be easily injured by the force of rotating the knee while bearing weight. A partial or total tear may occur when a person quickly twists or rotates the upper leg while the foot stays still (for example, when dribbling a football around an opponent or turning to hit a tennis ball). If the tear is tiny, the meniscus stays connected to the front and back of the knee; if the tear is large, the meniscus may be left hanging by a thread of cartilage. The seriousness of a tear depends on its location and extent.

    Cruciate ligament injuries.

These are sometimes referred to as sprains. They don't necessarily cause pain, but they are disabling. The anterior cruciate ligament is most often stretched or torn (or both) by a sudden twisting motion (for example, when the feet are planted one way and the knees are turned another). The posterior cruciate ligament is most often injured by a direct impact, such as with falls or football tackles

    Medial and Collateral ligaments injuries.

The medial collateral ligament is more easily injured than the lateral collateral ligament. The cause of collateral ligament injuries is most often a blow to the outer side of the knee that stretches and tears the ligament on the inner side of the knee. Such blows frequently occur in contact sports like football or hockey

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