Sports injuries

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What are sports injuries affecting the knee?

Sports injuries can affect the ligaments and tendons around the knee. Ligaments are the thick bands of rubbery tissue connecting bones at the knee joint. Tendons connect the knee muscles to the bone.

  • An ‘acute’ sports injury is one that happens suddenly, for example as a result of over-stretching a tendon resulting in a sprain or fracture. It’s normally obvious when this type of injury has occurred because it becomes impossible to put weight on the knee
  • Sports injuries can also be caused by long-term over-use of a group of muscles or joints, for example in activities that involve running; these are known as ‘chronic’ (or long-term) injuries
Conor Pepper

Professional footballer is back on the pitch after a medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction with Prof Adrian Wilson

Sports injuries

Sports injuries affecting the knee are more common in activities such as football, netball, skiing, lacrosse, hockey, rugby, running, squash, and tennis. Common problems include sprains, strains and ligament or tendon injuries.

One of the most frequent ligament injuries affecting the knee is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is an increasing problem in children. Other common problems include tendon injuries, meniscal tears, and kneecap (patella) instability.

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