Other Common Conditions

ACL tear/sprain

The anterior cruciate ligament stabilizes the knee against forward forces. This ligament most commonly is injured during sport activity. Usually, this ligament is torn or sprained with a “cutting” motion as the person plants the foot and changes direction. Not all ACL tears need to be repaired surgically.

MCL/LCL tear/sprain

These ligaments stabilize the knee joint against medial and lateral or “side to side” forces. The MCL is commonly injured during complete rupture injuries of the ACL. The MCL is sprained when the knee is bent at an angle of someone hit s the knee from the outside. This injury is usually not surgically repaired by itself and a course of physical therapy can help to get the athlete or recreational person back to their activity quickly without permanent trouble.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Knee pain resulting from biomechanical inefficiency of normal tracking of the knee-cap on the thigh bone can be classified as pattelofemoral syndrome. This is due to an imbalance of the thigh muscles and usually an associated tight iliotibial (ITB) band. Persons that who a hard time recruiting their gluteal muscles can also be affected by this. Without proper coordination of the gluteal recruitment the person runs/walks with “knocked” knees.

Patellar tendonitis

Inflammation and overload of the tendon that surrounds the knee cap and straightens the knee can result in patellar tendonopathy. This can be from an imbalance of the quadriceps and the hamstrings (front and back of the thigh muscles). Other factors can be identified by you physical therapist.

Meniscus tears

Meniscus is usually referred to the cartilage between the Femur (thigh bone) and Tibia (shin bone) that both cushions the knee joint and maintains the normal tightness and stability of all the directions of motion. Tears usually occur with an MCL sprain/tear as the meniscus/cartilage is attached to the MCL. Abnormal stresses and improper knee mechanics can also be involved.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

OA involves inflammation of the joint that may cause pain, stiffness, and limited function. It can be result of degenerative changes that occur over time, or traumatic events. This is the most common degenerative process that affects the knees. By making sure you have proper flexibility and strength of the joint, you can usually manage the pain and effects of OA.

Traumatic contusions

High impact forces to the soft tissue’s in and around a joint can cause pain, swelling, and bruising. Treating bruises effectively and developing a program to help the bruise heal fast with no lingering problems is possible with physical therapy.

Fractures

Bone failure can be a result of blunt trauma, chronic overuse, or osteoporosis. Fractures are usually either casted or braced to allow the bone to heal and weight-bearing limitations may be put in place to avoid unwanted pressures.