Sports Medicine

Common sports injuries and conditions include:

  • Burners and Stingers
  • Female Athletes: Health Problems Caused by Extreme Exercise and Dieting
  • Heat Injury
  • Muscle Contusion (Bruise)
  • Muscle Cramp
  • Sports Concussion
  • Sports Hernia (Athletic Pubalgia)
  • Sprains, Strains and Other Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Stress Fractures

Common knee injuries

Many athletes experience injuries to their knee ligaments. Of the four major ligaments found in the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) are often injured in sports. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) may also be injured.

ACL injuries

Changing direction rapidly, slowing down when running, and landing from a jump may cause tears in the ACL. Athletes who participate in skiing and basketball, and athletes who wear cleats, such as football players, are susceptible to ACL injuries.

MCL injuries

Injuries to the MCL are usually caused by a direct blow to the outside of the knee. These types of injuries often occur in contact sports, such as football or soccer.

PCL injuries

The PCL is often injured when an athlete receives a blow to the front of the knee or makes a simple misstep on the playing field.

Torn cartilage

When people talk about torn knee cartilage, they are usually referring to a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a tough, rubbery cartilage that is attached to the knee ligaments. The meniscus acts like a shock absorber. In athletic activities, tears in the meniscus can occur when twisting, cutting, pivoting, decelerating, or being tackled. Direct contact is often involved.

Adolescent anterior knee pain

Chronic pain in the front and center of the knee (anterior knee pain) is common among active, healthy young people, especially girls.

It is usually not caused by any particular abnormality in the knee and does not mean that the knee will be damaged by continuing to do activities.

Pain located in the upper shinbone area below the kneecap is a different problem, and information about this can be found at Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain) Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)

In many cases, the true cause of anterior knee pain may not be clear. The complex anatomy of the knee joint that allows it to bend while supporting heavy loads is extremely sensitive to small problems in alignment, activity, training, and overuse. Pressure may pull the kneecap sideways in its groove, causing pain behind the kneecap.

In teenagers, a number of factors may be involved.

  • Imbalance of thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings) that support the knee joint
  • Poor flexibility
  • Problems with alignment of the legs between the hips and the ankles
  • Using improper sports training techniques or equipment
  • Overdoing sports activities

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