Knee Injuriesenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-kneeInjuries-enHD-AR1.jpgKnee injuries are common among young athletes. Learn about causes, treatments, and prevention.sports injury, fracture, sprain, strain, dislocate, dislocated, knee joint, ACL, MCL, meniscal cartilage tear, tendinitis, knee injury, injuries, Bursitis, Osgood-Schlatter Disease, arthroscopy, RICE, rehab, rehab therapy, knee brace, crutches06/29/200903/07/201903/07/2019Amy W. Anzilotti, MD01/01/2019ad978ff2-70fa-4afa-b1f6-24fd78d62cd2https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/knee-injuries.html/<p>The knee is a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bones-muscles-joints.html/">joint</a> that joins the thigh bone (femur) to the top of the shin bone (tibia). It is made up of bones, cartilage , muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These parts work together to make the legs bend, straighten, and swivel. A knee injury can damage one or more parts of the knee.</p> <p><img class="center_this" title="Anatomy of the knee" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/kneeAnat_a_enIL.jpg" alt="Anatomy of the knee" /></p> <h3>What Causes Knee Injuries?</h3> <p>Kids and teens may injure a knee in a fall or accident. Active and athletic kids might have overuse knee injuries. These happen when someone trains too much or makes repetitive motions involving the knee.&nbsp;</p> <p>Common knee injuries in kids and teens include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/strains-sprains-sheet.html/">sprains</a>: when a ligament stretches or tears; for example, an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acl-injuries.html/">anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mcl-injuries.html/">medial collateral ligament (MCL)</a> tear</li> <li>strains: when a muscle or tendon tears part or all of the way</li> <li>tendonitis: when a tendon gets irritated or inflamed, usually from overuse or poor training (for example, in <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/jumpers-knee.html/">jumper's knee</a>)</li> <li>meniscal tears: when the cartilage between the upper and lower leg bones (the menisci) tears</li> <li>fractures: when a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/b-bone.html/">bone breaks</a></li> <li>dislocation of the patella (kneecap): when the kneecap slides out of place</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/osgood.html/">Osgood-Schlatter disease</a>: inflammation of the tendon that attaches the kneecap to the shinbone</li> <li>Osteochondritis dissecans: when a small piece of bone in the knee loses blood supply and breaks off</li> <li>bursitis: swelling of one of the fluid filled sacs that cushion the knee.</li> </ul> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of a Knee Injury?</h3> <p>The signs and symptoms of a knee injury depend on the cause. Most knee injuries cause pain. A knee injury may also lead to the knee feeling weak, &quot;giving way,&quot; or &quot;locking.&quot; Someone with a knee injury might not be able to fully bend or straighten the knee. The injured knee may be swollen or bruised.</p> <h3>How Are Knee Injuries Diagnosed?</h3> <p>To diagnose a knee injury, health care providers ask about how the injury happened and what symptoms it causes.</p> <p>The health care provider will do a physical exam that includes pressing on the knee and legs and moving them in certain ways. These tests can show what part of the knee is injured.</p> <p>Imaging tests done sometimes used include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/xray-knee.html/">X-rays</a> to check for injuries to the bones</li> <li>a CT scan or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mri.html/">MRI</a> to look inside the knee</li> </ul> <h3>How Are Knee Injuries Treated?</h3> <p>Treatment for a knee injury depends on the cause. Some knee injuries just need RICE:</p> <ul> <li><strong>R</strong>est</li> <li><strong>I</strong>ce</li> <li><strong>C</strong>ompression (with an elastic bandage)</li> <li><strong>E</strong>levation (raising the injured knee)</li> </ul> <p>Other knee injuries may need bracing, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/phys-therapy.html/">physical therapy</a>, or even surgery.</p> <h3>Can Knee Injuries Be Prevented?</h3> <p>To help prevent knee injuries:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make sure your kids wear the recommended protective equipment for sports (such as knee pads and shin guards).</li> <li>Make sure your kids wear supportive athletic shoes that are in good condition.</li> <li>During workouts, kids should always warm up and cool down.</li> <li>Encourage kids to do regular <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/strength-training.html/">strength training</a> to support muscles, and stretching or yoga to improve flexibility.</li> <li>When jumping, kids should bend the knees while landing. This takes pressure off the ACL and prevents injury.</li> <li>If kids cut laterally or pivot frequently (as in soccer), encourage them to crouch and bend at the knees and hips to reduce the chances of an ACL injury.</li> <li>For kids who play just one sport, conditioning and training year-round — even if it's at a lower intensity than during the competitive season — can help them stay in shape and make an injury less likely.</li> </ul> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <p>If your child's knee hurts, it is important to know why. Take your child to a health care provider to find out what's causing the pain and to get treatment.</p>
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) TearsACL injuries can happen in active and athletic kids when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, resulting in a torn ligament.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acl-injuries.html/96e28772-3895-4983-8b79-95f1e89b4bac
Bones, Muscles, and JointsWithout bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn't stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bones-muscles-joints.html/53199934-b6d8-4854-8362-8b1dfc45c3f6
BursitisBursitis, an irritation of the small fluid sacs that provide cushioning in some joints, is often caused by sports-related injuries or repeated use of a particular joint.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bursitis.html/35129f6a-a66c-4dce-94c1-890f6ef07812
Jumper's KneeJumper's knee is an overuse injury that happens when frequent jumping, running, and changing direction damages the patellar tendon.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/jumpers-knee.html/16b92a66-48a6-4473-ba2e-87bbe0566229
Knee InjuriesHealthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/knee-injuries.html/0e348562-5958-4a91-96ad-c8affb5fff4f
Knee Injury: Caroline's StoryCaroline loved sports. But when an ongoing knee injury kept her from playing the sports she loved, she discovered new interests. Read her story.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/story-caroline.html/65e85f0d-a4b5-4324-ba7e-2052df2fb292
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) InjuriesMCL injuries happen when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, causing a torn ligament.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mcl-injuries.html/644d3430-58bf-4fa4-a27d-a379712896fe
Meniscus TearsThe key to healing meniscus tears is not to get back into play too quickly. Find out what meniscus tears are and how to treat them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/meniscus-tear.html/223bcb86-70a0-4814-b899-c5ef2493600b
Osgood-Schlatter DiseaseOsgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is an overuse injury that can cause knee pain in teens, especially during growth spurts. Learn more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/osgood.html/585217d8-dfd4-4357-94f9-431b2791d355
Overuse InjuriesOveruse (or repetitive stress) injuries happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, causing problems like swelling, pain, muscle strain, and tissue damage.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/rsi.html/810a10d4-1576-46e7-847b-f6bf8fcd9cdf
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)Patellofemoral pain syndrome (or runner's knee) is the most common overuse injury among runners, but it can also happen to other athletes who do activities that require a lot of knee bending.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/runners-knee.html/4589da1f-0851-45ac-a408-8ce20ef2c72b
Preventing Children's Sports InjuriesParticipation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-safety.html/bec4e82b-c8b0-4945-9611-7c9464e177f8
Sports and Exercise SafetyPlaying hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sport-safety.html/cbffad82-3814-4cbc-8758-dd3aac78c363
Your BonesWhere would you be without your bones? Learn more about the skeletal system in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/bones.html/ba77b482-c6eb-47da-90a4-3cb148f38f4d
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-orthopedicsNonSportsMedkh:clinicalDesignation-orthopedicsSportsMedkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-orthopedicsNonSportsMedSports Injurieshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-medicine-center/injuries/d39a4016-156b-42e2-bf20-64657c4f2104Bones & Muscleshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/bones/309954d5-03dd-446c-9d39-3e66eeb99f97Exercise Safetyhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/exercise-safety/f66a259b-2915-44dd-b41c-951545ce5d16https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/kneeAnat_a_enIL.jpg