Our offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. Peabody Imaging will also be closed Saturday, May 25 - Sunday, May 26. Online scheduling is now available for Orthopedic Injury Care. Learn more about Orthopedic Injury Care at SMN

Where It Hurts: My Knee

Your knee joint provides the strength that helps you walk, run, squat, jump, and turn. But the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage are all vulnerable to injury. This is especially true for athletes and active people. Knee injuries can happen in an instant, like ACL and meniscus tears. Also, wear and tear to the knee cartilage can take a toll over time. Learn more about conditions that cause knee pain and how the knee experts at Sports Medicine North can help.

Common Knee Injuries and Conditions

We see people with all types of knee pain. The most common injuries and conditions we treat are:

  • ACL injuries: Your anterior cruciate ligament connects your shinbone to your thighbone. With a sudden stop or severe twist, it can tear. This can cause a popping or shifting sensation, along with severe pain and swelling. ACL tears usually need reconstructive surgery.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis) is one of the most common causes of knee pain, often seen in people age 50+. You’re more at risk for developing arthritis if you’ve had a prior knee injury or have a family history of knee arthritis. As the cartilage wears away, it causes pain, joint stiffness, swelling, and loss of range of motion.
  • Kneecap pain (runner’s knee): Also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, this is pain in the front of your knee, behind the kneecap. It hurts when you squat, kneel or bend your knee, especially when descending stairs or walking downhill. Runners sometimes develop this from repetitive motion, but damaged cartilage or a hit to your knee can also cause it.
  • MCL injuries:Your medial collateral ligament runs along the inside of your knee. A blow on the outside of the knee can injure your MCL, causing tenderness, instability, and pain. Mild MCL sprains and tears can be treated conservatively while more severe sprains may require surgery.
  • Meniscus injuries: Your meniscus is a wedge-shaped, rubbery cushion in your knee. Like any cartilage, it can tear. This can happen because of a sudden or severe twist of the knee or from wear and tear and arthritis. Meniscus tears often cause catching, locking, or giving way of the knee with sharp, stabbing pain.
  • PCL tears:Your posterior cruciate ligament sits at the back of your knee. Like your other knee ligaments, it’s vulnerable to injury (especially for athletes). A tear causes pain, swelling, and trouble walking. Surgery is sometimes needed although many PCL tears can be treated non-surgically.
  • Sprains and strains: The soft tissues of your knees (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) can get strained or overstretched. This usually happens because of a fall or other sudden movement but can also happen from repetitive use A sprain or a strain can cause loss of mobility, but usually gets better with rest.
  • Tendinitis: Your patellar tendon runs from the bottom of your kneecap to your shinbone. With overuse, such as lots of running and jumping, the tendon can get irritated and inflamed. It often causes a dull pain at the top of the shinbone.

We see people with all types of knee pain. The most common injuries and conditions we treat are:

  • ACL injuries: Your anterior cruciate ligament connects your shinbone to your thighbone. With a sudden stop or severe twist, it can tear. This can cause a popping or shifting sensation, along with severe pain and swelling. ACL tears usually need reconstructive surgery.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis) is one of the most common causes of knee pain, often seen in people age 50+. You’re more at risk for developing arthritis if you’ve had a prior knee injury or have a family history of knee arthritis. As the cartilage wears away, it causes pain, joint stiffness, swelling, and loss of range of motion.
  • Kneecap pain (runner’s knee): Also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, this is pain in the front of your knee, behind the kneecap. It hurts when you squat, kneel or bend your knee, especially when descending stairs or walking downhill. Runners sometimes develop this from repetitive motion, but damaged cartilage or a hit to your knee can also cause it.
  • MCL injuries:Your medial collateral ligament runs along the inside of your knee. A blow on the outside of the knee can injure your MCL, causing tenderness, instability, and pain. Mild MCL sprains and tears can be treated conservatively while more severe sprains may require surgery.
  • Meniscus injuries: Your meniscus is a wedge-shaped, rubbery cushion in your knee. Like any cartilage, it can tear. This can happen because of a sudden or severe twist of the knee or from wear and tear and arthritis. Meniscus tears often cause catching, locking, or giving way of the knee with sharp, stabbing pain.
  • PCL tears:Your posterior cruciate ligament sits at the back of your knee. Like your other knee ligaments, it’s vulnerable to injury (especially for athletes). A tear causes pain, swelling, and trouble walking. Surgery is sometimes needed although many PCL tears can be treated non-surgically.
  • Sprains and strains: The soft tissues of your knees (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) can get strained or overstretched. This usually happens because of a fall or other sudden movement but can also happen from repetitive use A sprain or a strain can cause loss of mobility, but usually gets better with rest.
  • Tendinitis: Your patellar tendon runs from the bottom of your kneecap to your shinbone. With overuse, such as lots of running and jumping, the tendon can get irritated and inflamed. It often causes a dull pain at the top of the shinbone.

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