- Take the Pain Quiz
- First Aid Sprains & Strains Slideshow Pictures
- Exercises for OA of the Knee Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Meniscus Tear - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Meniscus Tear - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Knee Injury - Causes
- Patient Comments: Knee Injury - Experience
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Knee injury facts
- What are the different types of knee injuries?
- What causes a knee injury?
- What are risk factors for a knee injury?
- What are knee injury symptoms and signs?
- How is a knee injury diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a knee injury?
- What exercises are recommended, and what exercises should be avoided during rehabilitation for a knee injury?
- What is the recovery time for a knee injury?
- What is the prognosis of a knee injury?
- Can knee injuries be prevented?
What causes a knee injury?
Most knee injuries are caused by an external force bending or twisting the knee in a manner that it was not anatomically designed for. The vast majority of knee injuries are from a twisting mechanism from falls, sports, or accidents. This twisting can cause damage to the ligaments and cartilage.
High-force injuries such as sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents can disrupt multiple parts of the knee anatomy, causing multiple types of knee injuries.
What are risk factors for a knee injury?
High-impact sports, including running, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, cycling, and others, can increase the risk of knee injury. Sports where shoes with cleats are worn and sharp, sudden changes in direction are made are common risks for knee injury.
The elderly may be at higher risk for knee injury due to falls and osteoporosis.
Women may be at higher risk for particular knee injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and patella. This is due to the anatomy of a woman's hips and femur and the angle at which the knee is tilted. This can lead to chondromalacia patella (CMP), an inflammation or irritation of the underside of the patella.
Overuse and overtraining, improper or insufficient training for a sport, or not properly rehabilitating acute injuries can also predispose a person to knee injuries.