Sports Related Knee Injuries
Sports have been around for a very long time. The Maya used to play a game with a rubber ball similar to basketball. The nobility in the medieval era played a primitive form of tennis. Most civilizations have had a sport of some kind. Sports are a way for us to get exercise and expend energy. However, in modern society, sports have become much more competitive and more popular. There are now numerous professional sports leagues and every year, millions of people go to see professional sporting events. Nowadays in football, as a man on the defensive line, your goal is to try and smash the quarterback, whereas 30 years ago, the goal was to just to win the game. This change in mindset, to be more aggressive and more intimidating, has happened in many sports such as basketball, hockey and soccer. This is in part due to the advancement of equipment technology. With more protection you can push yourself harder and longer, but many people push too much. Because of this new, harder and more intense way of playing, the rate of injuries has gone up. And by far, the most effected limb has been the knee.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee. The ligament is most commonly injured during an athletic activity. Due to the fact that sports are an increasingly important part of day to day life in the United States, the number of ACL injuries has steadily increased over the past few decades. Many sports have been associated with ACL tears. Those sports requiring the foot to be planted and the body to change direction rapidly (such as basketball) carry a high incidence of injury. Football, of course, is the most common source of an ACL tear. Football combines the activity of planting the foot, rapidly changing direction and the threat of bodily contact. Downhill skiing is another frequent source of ACL tears, especially since the introduction of ski boots that come higher up the calf. These boots move the forces caused by a fall to the knee rather than the ankle or lower leg. The ACL injury usually occurs when the knee is forcefully twisted, or hyper-extended. Many patients recall hearing a loud pop when the ligament tears, and feel the knee give way. This injury has received a great deal of attention from orthopedic surgeons over the past 15 years and very successful operations to reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament have been performed.
The tearing oh the posterior cruciate ligament is another sports related knee injury, though less common than the ACL. This injury can occur when the knee is forcefully twisted or hyper-extended, but other ligaments are usually injured or torn, before the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is torn in these injuries. The most common way for the PCL alone to be injured is from a direct blow to the front of the knee while the knee is bent. If the tibia moves too far back the PCL can rupture. This is a common cause of injury to the PCL...