Tendons connect the knee bones to the leg muscles that move the knee joint. The quadriceps tendon, also known as the patellar tendon joins the kneecap to the tibia. Ligaments, consisting of the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, and the lateral collateral ligament, which are thick bands of tissue join the bones of the knee and stabilize the joint.
The anterior cruciate ligament prevents the femur from sliding backward on the tibia, or the tibia from sliding forward on the femur. The posterior cruciate ligament prevents the femur from sliding forward on the tibia, or the tibia from sliding backward on the femur. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments prevent the femur from sliding from side to side.
Two pieces of cartilage in the shape of a "C" called the medial and lateral menisci act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia.
Bursas surround the knee joint. They are fluid filled sacs that cushion the knee during its range of motion.
Traumatic events such as blows to the knee, torquing, violent twisting or falls can cause injuries to these components of the knee.
Muscle tendon injuries can occur, such as strains, or tears. The medial collateral ligament and the lateral collateral ligament can be stretched or torn too resulting in injuries. The anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments can be damaged when force is suffered to the front or back of the knee. Give way weakness often times occurs with this type of injury. Meniscal tears can occur resulting in the need for treatment. Fractures of the knee bones are not uncommon either when trauma occurs. Chondromalacia patella or patellofemoral syndrome is irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella, or kneecap causing knee pain. The bursa can become inflamed too, resulting in bursitis.
Physical examination and MRI scans of the knee are the investigative tools used to ascertain injuries to the knee. Treatment can consist of rest, non-ambulation or limited ambulation, bracing or casting, medication, physical therapy and home exercise programs, or surgery.
If you have any questions concerning traumatic knee injuries or any other personal injury questions, please feel free to contact our office.
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