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As a large, complex joint, the knee is susceptible to many types of injuries. Some of the more common knee injuries involve sturdy connective tissue structures called ligaments and tendons. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and most can be effectively treated.
Whether your knee injury is from playing sports or a hard fall, the orthopedists at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican can diagnose the extent of your injury and provide personalized care. In the case of surgery, we offer a wide range of options for knee ligament and tendon injuries in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Find a Doctor online or call 702.616.4900.
If you injure a ligament or tendon in your knee, you will experience pain ranging from mild to severe, possible swelling, and perhaps difficulty bearing weight on the leg. If you tear a ligament inside your knee, you may feel as if your lower leg is “disconnected” from your thigh bone or that the knee joint is “loose.” If you rupture the patellar tendon, which holds your kneecap in place, you might be able to clearly see that the kneecap is displaced.
Ligaments connect bones with other bones; tendons connect muscles to bones. In the knee, the muscles and bone of the thigh are connected to the same structures in the lower leg. Ligaments and tendons are strong and fibrous but flexible, which enables the knee joint to bend.
The knee joint is not designed to twist, though, so any activity that causes twisting of the knee might cause a ligament or tendon injury. Activities that require sudden changes of direction while putting downward force on the knee joint may cause an injury to the ligaments or tendons.
For this reason, athletes who participate in sports such as soccer, football, and skiing are at higher risk of experiencing a knee injury. Non-athletic trauma, such as injury due to a car accident or an ordinary fall, can also cause damage knee ligaments or tendons.
Fortunately, most knee injuries can be successfully treated. The specific treatment and prevention approach will depend on the severity of the injury. In general, a mild knee ligament or tendon injury (sprain) might be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Your doctor may also advise taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen.
Serious knee ligament and tendon injuries, such as complete ligament tears, often require surgery to repair. After surgery, you may need to undergo weeks or months of rehabilitation to fully regain joint function.
Preventing knee injuries can be difficult if you choose to participate in a high-risk or impact sport. You might be able to reduce your risk by warming up before you play and cooling down afterward. Learn more by talking to one of our sports medicine experts.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides treatment for injured knee ligaments and tendons in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.