Knee injuries - Causes and treatment options

Knee injuries -
Causes and treatment options

The knee is the largest joint in the human body – and simultaneously the most injury-prone. With healthy knee joints, one can walk, turn and squat without pain. In the process, the knee joint is subjected to forces many times our body weight in various load situations. The interaction between bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and other soft tissue in the knee joint provides the entire body with stability and, at the same time, mobility.

Knee injuries are caused by excessive loading during high-performance sports or intensive physical activity or acutely due to a fall or incorrect posture. In addition to injuries, arthritis or age-related weakening of tissue can also cause pain and reduce the function of the knee.

The most common knee injuries encountered in sports medicine include cruciate ligament injuries, cruciate ligament ruptures and meniscus injuries. Besides pain and reduced mobility, the main symptom is the more or less noticeable instability of the knee joint.

A multi-level orthopaedic examination of the knee serves the diagnosis, consisting of a review of the patient's medical history, which includes the general state of health and existing conditions, a physical examination to determine the mobility and stability of the knee joint, muscle strength and leg axis as well as imaging examinations, such as x-ray and MRI. Blood tests may be necessary to detect arthritis. The diagnosis results in a therapy recommendation, whereby the range of treatments extends from medication to arthroscopy or other surgical procedures.

Common diagnoses include:

  • Meniscus injuries to be treated by partial removal, refixation or meniscus transplantation
  • Cruciate ligament injuries to be treated by reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament or posterior cruciate ligament
  • Dislocation of the kneecap to be treated by reconstructing the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL)
  • Cartilage injuries to be treated by cartilage smoothing, microfracture surgery or transplantation
  • Arthroscopic joint fragment removal
  • Wear and tear and severe injuries to be treated by implanting a joint prosthesis

Cruciate ligament ruptures - Causes and treatment options
Meniscus tear - Causes and treatment options

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