Ask us about Kyphoplasty

4 Common Sports Injuries That Affect the Knee

4 Common Sports Injuries That Affect the Knee

Although they’re the largest joints in your body, your knees encounter a lot of stress and strain during a normal day. 

That’s amplified in any sport that requires running, jumping, or quick changes in direction. This activity greatly increases your risk of a knee injury, which can put you on the sidelines for a game or the rest of the season.

Dr. John S. Michels is a pain management specialist with a busy practice in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas. As a previous NFL champion, he also has personal experience with sports injuries and the pain they cause. 

Read what Dr. Michels says about your knee anatomy and the symptoms of four common knee injuries.

Understanding the knee joint

The knee is a very complex hinge joint that includes the thigh bone, shinbone, and patella (kneecap). 

Cartilage covers the ends of the thigh and shin bones and the back of the patella. This slippery but tough tissue helps the bones glide smoothly without friction as you bend or straighten your knee.

Another type of cartilage (meniscal) forms two wedge-shaped pads where the thigh bone meets the shinbone. These rubbery structures (the meniscus) provide a natural cushion between the two bones and help stabilize the joint.

Held together by a collection of ligaments that connect bone to bone and tendons that attach muscle to bone, the knees are the most easily injured joints in the body. Along with moderate to severe knee pain, these injuries can make it difficult to participate in your sport.

Common knee injuries

Knee injuries sustained during sports may affect the bones, cartilage, or soft tissue structures and can include:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or sprain

The anterior cruciate ligament connects your thigh bone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia). Quick pivots in direction or landing awkwardly from a jump during sports such as soccer, football, and basketball can tear the ACL.

Symptoms include:

Although an ACL injury is likely the most common, other knee ligaments are also vulnerable to injury during sports. 

Patellar tendinitis

Sometimes referred to as “jumper’s knee,” patellar tendinitis is typically an overuse injury that’s common in sports that require frequent jumping, such as volleyball or basketball.

Related to stress on the patellar tendon that occurs over time, symptoms are typically gradual in onset and may include:

Meniscal injury

Also common in sports, meniscal tears are typically caused by a sudden twisting injury or significant blow to the knee. They often occur in combination with ligament injuries and may cause symptoms such as:

Iliotibial band syndrome

The iliotibial band is a band of fibrous connective tissue that extends from the hip down the outer thigh to the shin. Often characterized as an overuse injury and occurring in runners and cyclists, iliotibial band syndrome can cause:

Treating knee pain

After diagnosing the cause of your knee discomfort, Dr. Michels creates a customized treatment program that may include physical therapy, steroid injections to reduce inflammation, nerve blocks to reduce pain, and/or regenerative medicine therapies such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections to promote healing 

For an accurate diagnosis of what’s causing your knee pain, or any of the other conditions we treat, and outstanding care that’s designed to get you back in the game, schedule a visit with Dr. Michels today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are Your Shoes to Blame for Your Knee Pain?

You may not think much about your knees when picking a new pair of shoes, but you probably should. Our pain management specialist explains the role of shoes in knee pain and which types are best for your achy joints.

A Closer Look at Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome can cause pain, joint stiffness, and numerous other symptoms that are often hard to understand, let alone treat. Our pain management specialist explains this painful nerve disorder and the treatments that help.

Bad Habits That Are Making Your Neck Pain Worse

Many habits can cause, worsen, or prolong neck pain. Unfortunately, most of them are so ingrained you may not realize they’re part of your daily routine. Check these facts about activities that worsen neck pain and tips for changing your routine.

Osteoarthritis and Back Pain: What You Need To Know

Isn’t osteoarthritis just part of aging? Usually, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with back pain related to this wear-and-tear type of arthritis. Our specialist discusses how he addresses back pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Bothered by Migraines? Botox May Help

Many effective treatments exist that can stop migraine pain once it starts. But how about a treatment that can help prevent migraine pain before it begins? Check these facts about Botox® for chronic migraine.