The knee is one of the largest joints in the body, and consists of 3 bones – the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella) – joined together by an extensive network of ligaments, cartilage, tendons and muscles. The knee functions to support movement and weight bearing. In this section, we look at the common injuries affecting the knees, warning signs and symptoms, as well as treatment options available.
Knee injuries can be caused by sports or recreational activities, aging wear and tear, or accidental falls. While most minor injuries like cuts and bruises heal on their own, certain injuries may lead to serious conditions that can affect knee function in the long run. Common knee injuries include:
Arthritis occurs when the joint becomes inflamed. In the knee, osteoarthritis is a common condition whereby the protective cushion in between the joints wear out. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, limited movement, swelling and at times a grinding sensation when moving. Genetic factors, joint instability and injury may also contribute to osteoarthritis. If you suspect that you have osteoarthritis of the knee, talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available for proper management and care
In the knees, the kneecap is most prone to bone fracture. This could be due to high energy trauma such as accidental falls. Symptoms of bone fracture in the knee include pain, tenderness, swelling, deformity at the area of the fracture and limitation in movement. For minor cases, treatment usually requires immobilisation with cast support until the bone heals, which can take about 6 weeks. If a bone is broken and displaced from its original position, surgery may be required to realign and stabilise the bones. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available