Knee pain is common for runners and knee injuries are very common in athletes who engage in cutting sports, such as soccer, football, basketball, rugby and lacrosse.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear: damage to the fibrous tissue running diagonally through your knee that serves in the main restraint in keeping the shin bone in place, preventing your knee from overextending and providing side-to-side support
- Meniscus tear: twisting and/or awkward knee flexion that causes damage to the fibro-cartilage pad that sits between the thigh bone and shin bone
- Kneecap dislocation: when a sudden change in direction puts your kneecap under stress or slips it to the outside of the knee
- Knee sprain: stretching or tearing of one or more of the knee ligaments
- Lateral collateral ligament injuries: partial (sprain) or full tear of the thin ligament that runs on the outside of the knee and keeps the joint stable
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome (front of the knee pain, sometimes referred to as runner's knee): excessive shifting of the patella from activities that involve knee bending
- Patellar tendonitis (sometimes referred to as jumper's knee or knee tendonitis): inflammation or tearing of the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shin
- MCL sprain: the most often sprained ligament in the knee, the medial collateral ligament, occurs when the knee is forced inward with a stress or impact to the outer side of the knee
- Posterior-lateral corner injury: trauma to the knee, a posterior lateral force directed to the inside of the knee, knee hyperextension or excessive knee rotation that damages the static and dynamic stability of the posterior lateral knee
Diagnosis of knee injuries
Life, and sports, puts a lot of wear and tear on your knees. For runners in particular, it may be difficult to know when to see a doctor for knee pain while running. To tell normal pain from more serious signs of injury, look out for sharp pains inside the knee or along the joint lines.
Your doctor will ask questions about the injury, the history of your knee pain and your symptoms and perform clinical tests to measure joint laxity. He or she may order X-rays or MRI scans to verify the diagnosis if significant swelling is present or the exact structures involved are difficult to identify. Clinical measures, tests and imaging will also be used to rule out or evaluate concurrent injuries. In some cases, the knee injury may be given a specific grade to determine its severity and guide treatment planning.