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Other common knee sporting injuries – and when they happen

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Prof Paul Lee - MSK Regeneration Blog on MSK Doctors

In my practice, I see a wide range of knee patients with sporting injuries, in the knee injury clinic. If you want to avoid a sporting injury it’s very important to understand when they can happen, so here’s a round-up of some of the most common injuries we see:

Patellar knee injury

There are many different causes of pain in the front of the knee – including from the tendons, the cartilage or the fat pad itself. It can be caused by repetitive strain injury which commonly comes from running, or sometimes it could be fat pad impingement or plica impingement. Patellar knee injury often occurs when someone has changed the sport they play or changed the way that they walk.

This type of injury often settles on its own. However, if it doesn’t settle, we may need to intervene with injection therapy or surgical intervention.

Meniscus injury

Meniscus injury comes hand in hand with cartilage injury (see below) and occurs when there is significant trauma to the knee, causing a tear in the meniscus.

The meniscus is very different in younger and older patients. When we’re younger the meniscus is more flexible so it can deform and it will spring back to how the shape of the meniscus used to be. However, when we become older the meniscus becomes more brittle and trauma to the knee will cause a tear. Usually, this causes severe sharp pain and stops the player from carrying on with their sport.

This type of injury is extremely common in tennis or in golf, which involves a lot of twisting within the body. Nowadays, with modern bracing or injection therapy, surgery is not always necessary to treat this type of problem, and it may be possible for the meniscus to be repaired instead of simply cut off.

Cartilage injury

Recovery depends on the different grades of injury. Most of the time the injury recovers with a simple contusion. However, if there is further injury to the cartilage, the cartilage can float around the knee and cause a problem. This defect can lead to early-onset arthritis. Luckily, in recent years new treatment options have become available to repair the cartilage or help the body to stimulate growth of new cartilage.

The Regeneration Man

Regeneration Man
The Regeneration Man

MBBch, MFSEM (UK), MSc (Sports Med), PhD (Med Engine), FEBOT, FRCS (Tr & Orth)

Consultant Sports and Arthroplasty Surgeon

MSK and Regeneration Medicine Doctor

Visiting Professor of Sports Medicine

I.C.R.S. teaching centre of excellence

Regional advisor Royal College of Surgeon Ed

Passionate about biology, engineering, computers and medicine.

Sports Muscle Injuries and Actovegin: Basics, Concepts and Future of Actovegin by Paul Y. F. Lee (2016-02-22)

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