Prevention and Wellness

Answers to Common Knee Injury Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about knee injury.

How can we prevent knee injuries?

Knee injuries can occur as a result of weakened tissue due to an illness or an impact during physical activity, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). Many knee injuries occur during sports play, the AAFP states.

The best prevention of knee injury is muscle strengthening, according to the American College of Sports MedicineOff Site Icon (ACSM). Regular strength training builds the muscle around the knee, helping it to become more durable and less prone to injury during activity, the AAOS states.

For more information about preventing knee injury, talk to your doctor.

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What are some factors that contribute to increased risk of injury?

Prior injury to the knee can be a risk factor for knee injury, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). Rehabilitation after an injury is important in building strength so a subsequent injury doesn’t occur, the AAFP states.

Knee injury is among the most common reasons people see their doctors, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). The complexity of the knee and its number of components make it vulnerable to injury, particularly for athletes or active individuals, the AAOS states.

Talk to your doctor about risk factors for knee injury.

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How can I figure out if I have a weak muscle group?

To find out if one has a weak muscle group, a patient can be tested by physical therapist or sports medicine provider, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). Testing may involve a physical examination and certain movements and exercises, the AAFP states.

If a chronic weakness is suspected, the patient may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation, according to the AAFP. Tests may include radiology screens or other imaging techniques, the AAFP states.

For more information about evaluating weak muscle groups, talk to your doctor.

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What muscles are most commonly weak?

The knee is the joint in the body most injured, as well as the largest, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). Weak muscles are most susceptible to injury, so it’s important to keep the muscles strong in order to stay active.

Any muscle in the knee can be weak if it isn’t properly conditioned, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon(AAOS). Fractures around the knee, dislocation, and sprains and tears of soft tissues like ligaments are among common knee injuries, and often the injuries involve more than one structure, the AAOS states.

Talk to your doctor about keeping knee muscles strong.

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Why is physical therapy for knee injuries so important?

Following injury, physical therapy is a crucial part of rehabilitation, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). Return to play or activity depends on one’s ability to build strength during the post-injury period, the NIH states.

Exercises for knees prior to injury can be a factor in preventing injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Strong and consistent function prior to injury can mean better outcomes following knee injury treatment, the AAOS states.

For more information about physical therapy for knee injury, talk to your doctor.

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What is the goal of knee rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation following an orthopedic injury is geared toward a safe and comfortable return to activity, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Rehabilitation of the knee following an injury is specifically focused to building strength, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Rehabilitation after knee injury is particularly important, as the knee is a large joint in the body and must be able to provide support, the AAOS states.

Talk to your doctor about knee rehabilitation.

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What are the muscles that directly impact the knee joint and are the main focus of knee strengthening exercises?

The knee is the largest joint in the body with many components, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). Many tissues and muscles that affect the knee are connected to other parts of the body, the NIH states.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS), the knee is made up these parts:

  • Articular cartilage
  • Bones
  • Collateral Ligaments
  • Cruciate ligaments
  • Ligaments
  • Meniscus
  • Tendons

For more information about knee injury and strengthening, talk to your doctor.

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What other areas are often overlooked during knee rehabilitation?

Knee rehabilitation often focuses on the areas directly around the knee, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). Rehabilitation matters following an injury because it helps to restore the joint to its former condition, and to build strength to avoid future injury, according to the AAFP.

Sometimes overlooked are the muscles that extend to other areas of the body, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). This may include muscles that reach the hip, a critical function in stabilizing, the AAOS states.

Talk to your doctor about muscular strength during knee rehabilitation.

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Why is muscle endurance also crucial to recovery of function?

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle to do repeated contractions against a high, but not maximum, resistance for a given period of time, according to the American College of Sports MedicineOff Site Icon (ACSM).

Muscle endurance is an important factor in knee rehabilitation according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). While it’s necessary to build the strength of the muscles around the knee, the ability of those muscles to endure repeated motions and stretches is vital to helping the patient return to play or activity, the AAOS states.

For more information about knee muscle endurance, talk to your doctor.

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What is an ACL injury?

Dr. James Klosterman explains ACL injuries. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) runs through the middle of the knee and provides rotational support, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Athletes who participate in sports like soccer, basketball, and football are more likely to sustain an ACL injury, according to the AAOS.

There are a few ways one can suffer an ACL injury, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). The NIH states that the ACL can be injured by any of the following activities:

  • Hard hit to the side of the knee
  • Overextension of the knee joint
  • Quick stop and direction change while running, landing from a jump, or turning

Symptoms may include a popping sound, swelling, and pain, according to the NIH.

For more information about ACL injury, talk to your doctor.

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Who is the typical ACL patient?

Dr. James Klosterman explains who the typical ACL patient is. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

An ACL injury is common among younger athletes, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). These patients tend to participate in high-activity sports in which there is ACL injury-causing contact, according to the NIH.

Female athletes are more likely than their male counterparts to sustain an ACL injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Studies suggest that the higher risk may be attributed to muscular strength, physical conditioning, and neuromuscular control, the NIH states.

To learn more about ACL risk factors, talk to your doctor.

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What makes an ACL patient a good candidate for an ACL surgery?

Dr. James Klosterman explains who good candidates for ACL surgery are. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Physical rehabilitation is often effective in protecting one’s knee from further damage, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationOff Site Icon (AAPMR). However, if the ACL is so damaged that it should be rebuilt in order for one to maintain stability, surgery may be required, the AAPMR states.

Physically active patients are usually the best candidates for surgery, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). Other factors to consider are the age, physical condition, and medical history of the patient, according to the AAFP.

For more information about ACL surgery, talk to your doctor.

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What is an ACL deficient knee?

Dr. James Klosterman explains what an ACL deficient knee is. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

An ACL deficient knee is one in which the ACL is substantially injured or deteriorated in some way, according to the American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon (AAFP). Rarely, the ACL can be absent at birth, the AAFP states.

Injury is a common cause of an ACL deficiency, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon. Osteoarthritis is another way an ACL deficiency may be caused, and reconstruction of the ACL can be a treatment option, the AAOS states.

To learn more about ACL deficiency, talk to your doctor.

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What is a traditional ACL surgery technique?

Dr. James Klosterman explains what a traditional ACL surgery technique is. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

ACL reconstruction involves repairing the torn ligament, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Often, the replacement tissue comes from one’s own hamstring tendon or kneecap tendon, the AAOS states.

The procedure is typically performed with knee arthroscopy according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). Arthroscopy involves the use of a probe with a tiny camera attached, which facilitates smaller incisions and may result in less pain and faster recovery than found using open surgery, according to the NIH.

For more information about ACL surgery techniques, talk to your doctor.

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What are some disadvantages of traditional surgery?

Dr. James Klosterman explains the disadvantages of traditional surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Traditional knee surgery involves making larger incisions, increased blood loss, and more pain for the patient, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). These surgeries usually mean longer recovery times for patients as well, the AAOS states.

Like other procedures, knee surgery carries some risk, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). The NIH states that the following risks exist with traditional knee surgery and anesthesia:

  • Allergic reactions to medicines
  • Blood clot in the leg
  • Breathing problems
  • Failure of the ligament to heal
  • Failure of the surgery to relieve symptoms
  • Injury to a nearby blood vessel
  • Pain in the knee
  • Stiffness of the knee or lost range of motion
  • Weakness of the knee

For more information about traditional ACL surgery, talk to your doctor.

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What are the goals of ACL surgery?

Dr. James Klosterman talks about the goals of ACL surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

One of the things that ACL surgery hopes to achieve is to restore the knee to a strong, fully functioning joint, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Ideally, the patient would not experience a great deal of discomfort as well, the AAOS states.

A proper post-operative regimen is important for a solid recovery, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). After a procedure, most patients may use assistive devices such as knee braces or crutches, and undergo physical therapy to regain strength and motion, the NIH states.

To learn more about the goals of ACL surgery, talk to your doctor.

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Why was there a change to the ACL surgery technique?

Dr. James Klosterman explains why ACL surgery technique has changed. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

The all-inside technique has advantages primarily in that it requires smaller incisions, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). The procedure can be performed by three or four puncture-sized incisions, which may mean less pain and discomfort for the patient, according to the NIH.

The technique, with its smaller incisions, has a cosmetic appeal, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Smaller, fewer incisions means less scarring, as well as improved recovery times, although this technique doesn’t necessarily mean a faster return-to-play for athletes, according to the AAOS.

For more information about ACL surgery techniques, talk to your doctor.

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What are the benefits of the newer technique?

Dr. James Klosterman discusses the benefits of newer ACL surgery techniques. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

The ACL surgery technique, all-inside, may appeal to patients because of its cosmetic advantages, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). The procedure involves making smaller, button-like incisions, which can result in less scarring than is seen in traditional ACL surgery methods, the AAOS states.

Due to the smaller incisions, the patient is also likely to experience less discomfort than he or she would in other surgical methods, states the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH). The patient may also take less time to recover as a result, according to the NIH.

To learn more about the benefits of newer ACL surgery techniques, talk to your doctor.

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Are all patients that are going to have surgery good candidates for the all inside technique?

Dr. James Klosterman explains which patients that qualify for ACL surgery are good candidates for the all inside technique. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Not all ACL surgery candidates are suited for the all-inside ACL surgery technique, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). As athletes are most at risk for ACL injury, they are more likely to be candidates for the procedure, the AAOS states.

When considering ACL procedures, like all other surgeries, several factors are taken into consideration, according to the AAOS. A provider will consider a patient’s medical and family history, their physical strength, current health, and age, the AAOS states.

For more information about the ACL all inside surgical technique, talk to your doctor.

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What is the typical recovery for ACL surgery patients?

Dr. James Klosterman talks about typical recovery for ACL surgery patients. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Physical rehabilitation is an important part of recovery from ACL surgery, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationOff Site Icon (AAPMR). Recovery may involve the use of knee braces or crutches, as well as physical therapy to strengthen the knee and further prevent future injury, according to the AAPMR.

Rehabilitation and recovery varies from patient to patient, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Returning to fully daily function can take a matter of weeks, but for athletes, return-to-play may take a few months, the AAOS states.

For more information about ACL surgery, talk to your doctor.

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Is this surgery for those people who are weekend athletes or guys who go to gym? Their goals are different but is their recovery the same?

Dr. James Klosterman explains who the all inside ACL surgery technique is for. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Athletes, particularly younger athletes, are more susceptible to ACL injury than non-athletes, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). Athletes tend to be candidates for treatment more often than non-athletes as a result, the AAOS states.

Recovery is unique to each patient, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationOff Site Icon (AAPMR). Factors that affect recovery include the type of injury, procedure, amount of rehabilitation and therapy, the state of a patient’s health, and their age, the AAPMR states.

To learn more about candidates for all inside ACL surgery, talk to your doctor.

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What’s in the future for ACL surgery?

Dr. James Klosterman discusses the future of ACL surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Improvements in all surgical procedures is an ongoing effort, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsOff Site Icon (AAOS). The goal with ACL surgery, like other procedures, is to lessen a patient’s discomfort and improve the quality of their recovery; further surgical techniques are developed to that end, the AAOS states.

For more information about ACL surgery innovations, talk to your doctor.

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Why should a patient choose Premier Health for their ACL surgery?

Dr. James Klosterman explains why patients should choose Premier Health for ACL surgery. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Premier Health is staffed by highly-trained specialists and providers who have a combined 100 years of experience who are committed to patient-centered care, says James Klosterman, MD.

Patients who choose Premier Health have at their disposal a comprehensive, advanced physical therapy and rehabilitation program that is geared toward returning the patient to the daily functioning and activities that he or she enjoys, says Klosterman. That includes a sports performance component that has a focus on not only restoring strength and performance, but building on it through core development and conditioning, Klosterman says.

For more information about ACL surgery, talk to your doctor.


Source: James Klosterman, MD, Premier Orthopedics; Joel Russo, AT, CSCS, Premier Health Sports Medicine - Miami Valley Hospital South; Greg Schultz, PT, CSCS, Premier Health Sports Medicine - Upper Valley Medical Center

Content Updated: February 19, 2018

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