Common Knee Injuries in Football
Post by Dr. Jeffrey N. Guttman
At SIO, we see numerous football players during and after the season, many of them with serious knee injuries. The knee is highly susceptible to fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament tears, during a game of football. Any one of the knee’s four major parts – bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons – are subject to some of the worst injuries football can deliver. A knee injury can sideline a player for an entire season, or even for life.
Here are the most common knee injuries in football:
A rough tackle can also tear the meniscus, two wedged-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as “shock absorbers” between the femur and tibia. When the knee twists, cuts or pivots improperly, the meniscus tears. Recently, the Houston Texans found that they would have to continue the season without their No. 1 draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus.
These athletes may have heard a popping noise, felt the knee giving way, or experienced severe pain and swelling. After an injury, if your child feels these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. It’s important that a doctor assesses the area to determine the best treatment plan for that particular condition in order to get them back in the game.
ACL injuries are often the result of changing direction rapidly, or landing from a jump incorrectly. About half of all injuries to the ACL occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as to the articular cartilage meniscus. Darius Fleming, now a linebacker for the New England Patriots, tore his left ACL twice in his first two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
For more information on ACL injuries, check out this podcast.
Injuries to Collateral Ligaments are caused by a force that pushes the knee sideways. Blows to the inside of the knee that push the knee outward can injure this part of the knee. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a partially torn collateral ligament in an NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers. The injury forced Cutler out of the game.
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