A fall, a twist, or a turn, can all be causes to knee injuries.  Often times it does not take much to injure your knee in the workplace.

The knee happens to be the largest joint in the body.The knee is a complex hinge type of synovial joint formed by tibia/ fibula, femur and patella. The knee is divided into compartments (medial, lateral and patellofemoral). Every knee has two menisci, two collaterals and two cruciate ligaments.

According to the Meritcare website, acute injuries are the most common cause of knee problems. Sudden (acute) injuries at work may be caused by a direct blow to the knee or from abnormal twisting, bending the knee, or falling on the knee. Pain, bruising, or swelling may be severe and develop within minutes of the injury. Nerves or blood vessels may be pinched or damaged during the injury. The knee or lower leg may feel numb, weak, or cold; tingle; or look pale or blue.

Acute injuries include:

  • Sprains, strains, or other injuries to the ligaments and tendons that connect and support the kneecap.
  • A tear in the rubbery cushions of the knee joint (meniscus).
  • Ligament tears. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee.
  • Breaks (fracture) of the kneecap, lower portion of the femur, or upper part of the tibia or fibula. Knee fractures are most commonly caused by abnormal force, such as a falling on the knee, a severe twisting motion, severe force that bends the knee, or when the knee forcefully hits an object.
  • Kneecap dislocation.

Overuse injuries occur with repetitive activities or repeated or prolonged pressure on the knee. Activities such as stair climbing, bicycle riding, jogging, or jumping stress joints and other tissues and can lead to irritation and inflammation. Overuse injuries include:

  • Inflammation of the small sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the knee (bursitis).
  • Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) or small tears in the tendons (tendinosis).
  • Thickening or folding of the knee ligaments (Plica syndrome).
  • Pain in the front of the knee from overuse, injury, excess weight, or problems in the kneecap (patellofemoral pain syndrome).
  • Irritation and inflammation of the band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh (iliotibial band syndrome).

Treatment for the knee will vary depending the severity of injury. Some common treatments for knee pain are listed here. Not all of these treatments are appropriate for every condition, but they may be helpful in certain situations.

  • Rest
  • Ice and Heat Application
  • Stretching
  • Physical Therapy
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medication
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery allows an orthopaedic surgeon to diagnose and treat knee disorders by providing a clear view of the inside of the knee with small incisions, using a pencil-sized instrument called an arthroscope.

Keep in mind it is important from the beginning to seek the proper medical treatment so you can be evaluated and treated for your injury. If you have a work related injury, make sure to report your injury first even if you think it is minor.

Knee Problems and Injuries| MeritCare

(photo: Eurohealth24)