Being the largest joint in the body, the knee is highly vulnerable to injury, especially if you are physically active. Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine has some of the best sports medicine doctors in the area, ready to help you.
The knee is made up of four parts: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.
- Bones – There are three bones in the knee: the thighbone (femur), the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella).
- Cartilage – There are two different types of cartilage: articular and meniscus.
- Articular Cartilage: This is the smooth covering on the ends of the femur and tibia, and the back of the patella, which ensures they glide against each other as you bend and straighten your leg.
- Meniscus Cartilage: This consists of two wedge-shaped pieces that absorb shock between the femur and tibia. When you hear of torn cartilage in the knee, it is usually torn meniscus.
- Ligaments – Ligaments are ropes that hold the bones together. The two main types of ligaments that are found in the knee are collateral ligaments and cruciate ligaments.
- Collateral Ligaments: These are found on the sides of your knee and control the sideways movement.
- Cruciate Ligaments: These are found inside the knee joint and control the front to back movement.
- Tendons – Tendons are what connect the muscles to the bones.
Before considering surgery as an option, our physicians will explore whether more noninvasive treatments like physical therapy are possible. If it turns out that surgery is necessary to treat your injury, there are a number of procedures available to repair the damaged knee.
Types of Knee Injuries
Some common knee injuries that require medical treatment include:
- Fracture – A fracture occurs when there is a crack or a break in the bone. This most often happens to the kneecap. This may need surgery if the bone is fragmented.
- Dislocation – Having a dislocated knee means that the bones of the knee are out of place. A doctor will need to determine whether the dislocation caused any damage to the bone or cartilage. If there is damage to the bone, surgery may be required. Physical therapy can help to rebuild muscle strength once the dislocation is healed.
- Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – A torn ACL is a common knee injury, often sustained during sports or other physical activities. Surgery is usually required to reconstruct the ACL.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury – This most often happens when a bent knee hits the dashboard during a car accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may heal with only physical therapy. If that is not an option, surgery might be required.
- Meniscal Tear – Meniscal tearing can be the result of physical activity or arthritis and aging. Before surgery is considered, there are simple ways to try and repair the meniscus. If this doesn’t work, surgery may be needed.
- Tendon Tear – Depending on the size and severity of the tear, you may be able to treat this injury with physical therapy. Surgery might also be necessary.
Our doctors will work with you to determine the best treatment options for your injury. If you have knee pain or a knee injury, you may request an appointment online or call us at 904-825-0540.