Knee and Leg Injuries & Conditions

Knee and Leg Injuries & Conditions2021-01-22T13:47:05-06:00

Knee and Leg Injuries & Conditions

Don’t let pain bring you to your knees.  Weekend warriors and elite athletes are all susceptible to common types of knee injuries, such as ACL and meniscus tears. Even for those less active, knee and leg injuries, such as shinbone or kneecap fracture, are more than painful; they can have a serious impact on your mobility and quality of life.

Treatment options vary depending on the type, location and severity of the injury. What doesn’t change is the fact that it’s important to seek treatment for knee and leg injuries right away to ensure you’re back on your feet as soon as possible.

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or highly trained athlete, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries don’t discriminate. An ACL injury happens when you sprain or tear a ligament in your knee. This condition is not uncommon, especially in athletes who compete in high impact sports. ACL injuries can range from a mild sprain to a complete tear, although near complete or complete tears are most common. Surgery may be necessary to return to normal activities.

If you participate in sports, you’ve most likely heard of or maybe experienced a meniscus tear. This common knee injury can actually happen to anyone at any age. The condition occurs when the cartilage between your thighbone and shinbone is torn due to twisting the knee or forceful impact. As we age, cartilage becomes weaker and is more susceptible to degenerative meniscus tears, which can occur from something as simple as standing up from a seated position.

A quadriceps tendon tear is an uncommon injury that mostly occurs among middle-aged people who participate in running or jumping activities. The condition may also be the result of a fall or impact to the front of the knee. A weakened quadriceps is more susceptible to a tear. Causes of weakness include tendinitis or chronic disease such as leukemia or rheumatoid arthritis.

When the thigh bone breaks (fractures) above the knee joint, doctors call the injury a distal femur fracture. This type of severe injury happens most often in elderly people with weak bones or younger people who sustain a high impact injury, such as an automobile accident.There are different kinds of distal femur fractures. The skin may be intact (closed fracture) or open with bone protrusions. Open fractures tend to be more serious and take longer to heal.

The patella, commonly known as the kneecap, is the bone at the front of your knee where your thigh bone and shinbone meet. The patella serves an important function because it protects the knee joint. If you break this bone, it’s called a patellar fracture.

A fractured patella is the result of direct impact to the bone. It may be broken in two pieces or fractured into multiple pieces. If the bone remains in place, the fracture is considered stable and may not require surgery. For fractures where the bone is displaced, surgery is likely necessary for repair.

A shinbone, or tibea, is one of the most commonly broken bones in your body. It is usually due to a high impact event, such as an automobile accident. Depending on the injury, tibia fractures may range from a stable fracture where the pieces of bone line up correctly to a displaced fracture where the bones may be completely out of alignment.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes referred to as “wear-and-tear” arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joints gradually wears away and becomes a frayed, rough surface. This makes joint motion along this exposed surface painful. (This definition of OA comes from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.)

Knee osteotomy is used when a patient has early-stage osteoarthritis that has damaged one side of the knee joint. In a knee osteotomy, either the tibia (shinbone) or femur (thighbone) is cut and then reshaped to relieve pressure on the knee joint, relieving pain and improving function in an arthritic knee.

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