SPORTS INJURIES AFFECTING THE KNEE

“He is about to book his skiing holiday and felt so strong and so good that he asked permission to return to squash which of course I granted!”

Sports injuries affecting the knee

Sports injuries can affect the ligaments and tendons around the knee. Ligaments are the thick bands of rubbery tissue connecting bones at the knee joint. Tendons connect the knee muscles to the bone.

  • An ‘acute’ sports injury is one that happens suddenly, for example as a result of over-stretching a tendon resulting in a sprain or fracture. It’s normally obvious when this type of injury has occurred because it becomes impossible to put weight on the knee
  • Sports injuries can also be caused by long-term over-use of a group of muscles or joints, for example in activities that involve running; these are known as ‘chronic’ (or long-term) injuries

Sports injuries affecting the knee are more common in activities such as football, netball, skiing, lacrosse, hockey, rugby, running, squash, and tennis. Common problems include sprains, strains or other ligament and tendon injuries as well as arthritis.

One of the most frequent ligament injuries affecting the knee is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is an increasing problem in children. Other common problems include tendon injuries, meniscal tears, and kneecap (patella) instability.

Adrian summarises knee ligament damage which can occur when skiing:

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