Football Related Knee Injuries

Ligament Injuries

Football players frequently injure one or more of the knee ligaments. These ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).

ACL Injury – When an athlete changes direction rapidly, lands wrong from a jump, or simply slows down when running, the ACL could tear. With this injury, knee swelling immediately occurs and walking is painful. The knee may have loss of range of motion and tenderness with an ACL injury. Treatment for this type of injury depends on the degree of tear to the ligament, whether or not there are other associated injuries, and how much physical demand the patient puts on their knee. Sometimes, the orthopedic specialist needs to operate to repair a complete tear of the ACL. Recovery is measured in months, rather than weeks for this type of injury.

MCL Injury – The MCL is generally injured from a direct blow to the outside portion of the knee. The ligament is torn or stretched when the foot is planted firmly on the ground and a sideways force hits the knee. An injured MCL causes pain, difficulty walking, and tenderness. Therapy involves the use of a knee immobilizer, rest, ice applications, compression with a support bandage, and frequent knee elevation. Surgery is only necessary for severe tears of the MCL.

PCL Injury – The PCL is injured when a football player receives a blow t o ทางเข้า ufabet the front aspect of the knee or makes a simple misstep on the turf. Most PCL tears and injuries will heal with conservative treatment. An injured PCL leads to pain with walking, instability, and swelling of the knee. Surgery may be necessary with complete tearing and extensive damage to the PCL.

LCL Injury – The LCL is the least likely ligament to be injured during football activities. When severe force is applied to the inside of the knee, a LCL injury could occur. Symptoms include pain, swelling, weakness, tenderness, and discomfort to the outside of the knee. Treatment involves the RICE method, anti-inflammatory medications, and immobilization. Surgery to reattach the ligament to the bone is sometimes required.

Cartilage Injuries

Torn Cartilage – Most of the time, the meniscus is the cartilage that is torn during a football game. This rubbery, tough structure serves as a shock absorber during athletic activities. The meniscus tears with cutting, decelerating, pivoting, twisting, or from being tackled. Most torn meniscus injuries cause gradual pain and swelling, worse with climbing steps or uphill. Not all meniscus tears require surgery, but frequently the damage can only be repaired through an operation.