What are the Types and Causes of Knee Injuries?

What are the Types and Causes of Knee Injuries?, Knee and Shoulder InstituteInjuries to the knee may occur more commonly in athletes, but others are also vulnerable to them. Direct blows to the knee may occur during an accident, collision, or fall, but twisting and stretching injuries of the knee are more prevalent. Such injuries will take the joint through a higher range of motion that it can tolerate.

The treatment provider will first try to determine the cause of knee injury and assess the extent of injury. Diagnostic imaging may be used to establish the precise nature of injury. Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler are board certified orthopedic surgeons providing treatments for knee injuries to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and surrounding locations.


Causes of Knee Injuries

Sprain is a common type of knee injury that may occur when the knee is stress from a particular direction. In such case, the ligament that holds it in place may get stretched or torn due to the excessive force. Depending on the severity of the force, a first, second, or third degree sprain may occur.

Grade one sprain will stretch the ligament, but the fibers will remain intact. In case of grade two sprains, the fibers are partially torn, but the ligament is still holding together. Grade three sprain involves a total disruption of the ligament.

Twists to the knee are another common cause of knee injuries. A twist will put stress on the knee cartilage, which is called meniscus. A pinch may occur between the tibial surface and the edges of the femoral condyle, resulting in a tear of the cartilage.

Strain to the knee may occur when the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee are injured due to acute hyperextension or hyperflexion of the knee or due to overuse. Chronic abuse or direct blows to the knee can cause inflammation of the bursas or bursitis.


Types of Knee Injuries

Muscle Tendon Injuries

The mechanism of this injury may be hyperflexion, which involves damage to the quadriceps muscle, or hyperextension, which involves stretching or tearing of the hamstring muscles. In rare cases, damage to the quadriceps tendon may occur along with hyperflexion injury. This will usually require a surgery to repair the knee. Hamstring muscle tears are generally treated conservatively without a surgery.


MCL and LCL Injuries

MCL and LCL ligaments can be stretched or torn when a sideways force impacts the knee while the foot is planted. A hinged knee brace may have to be used to treat the injury and help stabilize the knee. The primary treatment in this type of injury is RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Surgery may be required when the ligament is completely torn.


Fractures and Other Injuries 

ACL injuries, meniscus tears, bursa inflammation, patellar injuries and fractures are other types of knee injuries. Fracture to the bone of the knee is a fairly common injury. The kneecap may fracture due a fall or a car accident. Surgery may be necessary if the bone has been displaced. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and nearby areas for knee injury treatments.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394

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