Knee Conditions

Types of Knee Condition

Types of Pain

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries (PCL)

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears are less common than ACL injuries due to the greater strength of the PCL, nearly twice the thickness. PCL injuries are often due to a blow to the shin whilst the knee is bent e.g. striking the knee against the dashboard during a car accident or falling whilst the knee is bent during sport.

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Collateral Ligament Injuries (MCL/LCL)

The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is located on the inside of the knee and can be injured during force from the outside to the inside of the knee. The Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) is located on the outside of the knee and can be injured during high energy direct forces which are from inside to outside.

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Anterior Knee Pain

The joint where the kneecap (Patella) meets the upper leg bone (Femur) is called the patellofemoral joint, the kneecap sits in a groove here. Pain is often caused by an imbalance of the muscles that surround and support the knee; this can alter the load and positioning of the patellofemoral joint. Also known as: anterior knee pain, runner’s knee.

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Meniscal Tears

The meniscus is a C-shaped disc which cushions the knee and distributes weight evenly. Each knee has two menisci, one which sits at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. There are two types of tear, degenerative or traumatic. A traumatic tear generally occurs from a twisting motion whilst the foot is planted and the knee is bent and is quite common in sports such as football. Degenerative tears are relatively common and can be found in 60% of the population aged over 65. Generally speaking degenerative tears are horizontal and traumatic tears are vertical.

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries (ACL)

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) provides stability to the knee joint by preventing the tibia from sliding on the femur and provides rotational stability in twisting movements. ACL injury often occurs during sports when the foot is planted and a sudden force hits the knee whilst the leg is straight or slightly bent. This can happen with sudden changes of direction, slowing down when running or landing from a jump. It is common in football, skiing and rugby.

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Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is one of the leading causes of pain and disability. It referrers to a clinical syndrome of joint pain accompanied by varying degrees of functional limitation and subsequent reduced quality of life. There is often a poor link between changes visible on an x-ray and symptoms of osteoarthritis; minimal changes can be associated with a lot of pain, or modest structural changes to joints can occur with minimal accompanying symptoms. Osteoarthritis is a condition that results from a loss of cartilage with subsequent remodelling of adjacent bone and subsequent inflammation. It is some of these changes in the joint structure that can then be seen on x-ray. It is a dynamic process that involves all joint tissues: the bones, cartilage, joint capsule, lubricating fluid and surrounding muscles. Sometimes the altered joint structure compensates for the changes and does not cause pain. It’s when the natural repair process cannot compensate enough that the joint starts to become painful.

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