The knee joint is a complex structure that facilitates mobility and allows for complex movements including walking, running and jumping. Anatomically, the knee consists of two cruciate ligaments: Anterior and Posterior cruciate ligaments. Together they allow the knee to stretch and contract, resulting in movement. Abnormal and excessive stress can lead to a cruciate ligament tear or even a complete rupture in some cases.
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The patella also called the kneecap, is the convex bone that sits in front of the knee joint. The patellar tendon connects the patella bone to the tibia. It facilitates movement and allows us to perform daily movements like walking, jumping and running.
Abnormal twisting motions beyond the knee’s natural limits can result in trauma to three crucial parts of the knee joint, namely the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the medial meniscus (inner cartilage) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This combination of partial injuries involving the three components is often referred to as the “Unhappy Triad”.
Knee joint pain can arise from a variety of causes and is critical to address in the initial stages. Pain can severely restrict movement and is often a sign of related underlying complications.
Pain in the knee at the lower part of the front is sometimes brought on by jumping or sudden start/stop motions and changes in direction and can be due to an irritation of the patellar tendon, known as patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee.
Arthritis in the knee or knee osteoarthritis is a condition of wear and tear of the knee joint cartilage over a long period of time. It affects 20-40% of people over the age of 60 who experience knee pain. However, aging is not the only cause of this condition.