Collateral Ligament Injuries

The human knee has four major ligaments that contribute to its stability. The collateral ligaments are the ones on the left and right sides of each of your knees. The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) can be found on the outside of the knee. It connects your femur (thigh bone) to your fibula (the smaller bone in the lower leg). The medial collateral ligament (MCL) can be found on the inside of the knee. It connects the femur to the tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg).

The cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL) that are found inside the knee joint are much better known because they are injured more frequently than the collateral ligaments. However, injuries to the collateral ligaments are still quite serious and should be treated by your physician. LCL injuries and MCL injuries are typically caused by blunt trauma to the knee that pushes it sideways. This is especially common during contact sports such as football and soccer.

If you experience pain and swelling in your knee, especially after physical activity, contact your doctor to check for ligament injuries and proper diagnosis.

Rotator Cuff Tears and Treatment

The rotator cuff is an important joint in your shoulder that helps control movement in your arm. It has the largest range of motion of any of the joints in your body, and can be injured due to traumatic force or through years of use. Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy helps explain rotator cuff tears and treatment. Here’s an excerpt:

So you have a sore, painful shoulder and you’ve been told it’s a rotator cuff tear. But what does that mean? How do you treat a torn rotator cuff muscle? How do you know if your rotator cuff is torn? Let’s start with the basics…

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear is a very common injury affecting one (or more) of four different muscles in the shoulder. A tear can be partial or complete and can sometimes involve retraction of the tissue. Rotator cuff tears can be painful but they don’t have to be. They can often be associated with a traumatic event…but they don’t have to be! Rotator cuff tears can occur after years and years of use and are much more common in those people over 60.

Check out the full article and learn more about rotator cuff tears. Rotator cuff tears can severely impede your everyday living. If you’ve been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, your doctor may recommend a shoulder brace for rotator cuff tears.

Injuries to the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

When I first hurt my knee, my family physician thought it may be a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury because of the way my kneecap was moving. I had often heard of an ACL tear, but I didn’t know much about the PCL. Here are some of the things I discovered:

  • The PCL is located in the middle of the knee right next to the ACL, also known as the anterior cruciate ligament.
  • The PCL is not as well known as the ACL because it is not injured as frequently, but it’s still very important to the stability of your knee.
  • The PCL is much harder to operate on, so surgery is not always recommended. It really depends on how unstable your knee is and how badly you’ve torn the ligament.

You can learn more about PCL Injuries here, and as always, please consult your physician if you have injured your knee. It’s such an important part of our anatomy, so stay healthy!

What is Osgood Schlatter Disease?

One of the most common reasons for knee pain in adolescents is Osgood Schlatter Disease. It’s more of a condition than a disease. As teenagers go through growth spurts, physical activity can cause friction on their bones as they’re growing. Osgood Schatter’s occurs when the shin bone rubs against the kneecap.

Luckily, Osgood Schlatter’s syndrome usually does not persist in to adulthood. Pain usually goes away after a few weeks. Patients can wear a knee strap or knee brace for Osgood Schatter’s which may help pain from returning. Here are a few that we recommend:

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What is a Meniscus Tear?

The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage in your knee. It helps cushion the friction between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) and it also helps your leg distribute weight as you walk.

A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually talking about a torn meniscus. This injury can happen when weight is placed on the leg while pivoting, which often occurs during sports such as soccer and football. When a meniscus tear takes place, typically the patient feels immediate pain. Swelling and stiffness soon develops due to the inflammation of the injured ligament.

Whether a tear can heal on its own depends on the size of the tear and its location along the meniscus. Typically if it occurs on the outside edge of the meniscus, which has rich-blood supply, it can heal on its own with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Tears on the inside area of the meniscus usually must be surgically repaired. If you experience knee pain, consult your physician to diagnose the issue and determine the best treatment.