Knee injuries can affect the muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage or tendons which make up the knee.
Even minor knee injuries can cause discomfort and difficulty walking, but in some cases injuries can be serious, causing permanent damage with life-changing consequences.
A fracture occurs when one or more of the bones in the knee are broken. Due to the impact a fracture can have on your life, this type of injury is often considered to be a serious injury.
The Patella, also known as the knee cap, can become dislocated or fractured, and in some cases this can cause long lasting or permanent problems. If the fracture is severe, it can break the knee cap into multiple pieces, and you may need surgery to repair this.
Your meniscus is cartilage which acts as a shock absorber in your knee joint. The meniscus can become damaged if your knee joint is bent and then twisted.
This type of injury may require you to rest and take time off work. In some cases, you may need surgery and rehabilitation to make a full recovery, and there may be some long-lasting consequences, such as osteoarthritis.
Knee ligament injuries
Torn ligaments in your knee can be caused by any excessive strain. This type of knee injury is likely to cause you to feel unstable when you walk, run or play sport.
A common type of ligament tear is an ACL injury, but you can also experience a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), lateral collateral ligament and medial collateral ligament (MCL).
Torn ligaments nearly always need long-term medical treatment and support, whether this is surgery to repair the tear, physiotherapy or specialised equipment such as a brace to help you walk, run or play sports.
Muscle damage in the legs can also affect your ability to move your knee. For example, your hamstrings or quadriceps can be stretched, strained or torn causing symptoms such as swelling, bruising, pain and weakness.
Torn muscles usually heal with exercise and time, but sometimes some treatment such as physiotherapy might be needed.