Common Knee Injuries

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a rubbery layer between the knee bones made of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for the knee joint.  Meniscus tears commonly occur from injuries that involve deep squatting, twisting or sometimes direct impact, and can often occur at the same time as knee ligament injuries. Symptoms include pain, swelling, loss of motion and sometimes mechanical symptoms such as catching or locking. Besides acute injury management, treatment for meniscus tears includes physiotherapy, manual therapy, strengthening and may requires surgery.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear

The ACL is a very important ligament deep inside the knee that is crucial for providing knee stability in sports or physical activities that involve twisting or pivoting motions.  An ACL tear occurs when there is a sudden stop or change of direction especially with a pivot or twist; also occurs from a direct impact that hyperextends the knee.  Symptoms include rapid swelling, pain, “pop” at time of injury, difficulty weight-bearing and giving-way.   Besides acute injury management, treatment for ACL tears includes intensive physiotherapy, bracing, neuromuscular retraining and often surgical reconstruction.  Read more.

leg bones with knee space in red

MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) Sprain

 The MCL is a ligament at the medial or inner side of the knee. An MCL sprain involves tearing or stretching that typically occurs from an impact to the outer (lateral) side of the knee which forces the knee to buckle inward (medially). Symptoms include pain at the medial side of the knee, local swelling and feeling “loose” if severely torn. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy and bracing, and usually does not require surgery.

LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) Sprain

The LCL is a ligament at the lateral or outer side of the knee. A LCL sprain involves tearing or stretching that typically occurs from an impact to the inner (medial) side of the knee which forces the knee to buckle outward (laterally). Symptoms include pain at the lateral side of the knee, local swelling and feeling “loose” if severely torn. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy and bracing, and usually does not require surgery.

PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) Injury

The PCL is a ligament deep inside the knee that helps to provide stability to the knee. An PCL tear typically occurs from a direct impact to the upper shin bone (tibia) or from a fall onto the front of the knee. Symptoms include swelling, pain, lack of motion and pain on weight-bearing. Besides acute injury management, treatment for ACL tears includes physiotherapy, bracing, neuromuscular retraining and sometimes can require surgical reconstruction.

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee, patellar tendinopathy, patellar tendinosis)

Overuse injury that results in inflammation of the patellar tendon which connects the knee cap to the upper shin bone (tibia). Common in basketball and volleyball players, patellar tendonitis typically occurs from excessive jumping, running or sudden decelerations. Symptoms include pain at the front of the knee just beneath the knee cap, and sometimes local swelling. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, gluteal muscle strengthening, stretching, massage therapy, chiropractic and other manual therapy. Bracing, strapping and taping can also be used. As with other overuse injuries, patellar tendonitis requires addressing any contributing factors such as training techniques, body biomechanical issues and footwear. If especially troublesome, then specialized injections may be needed.

ITB (Iliotibial Band) Syndrome

Overuse injury that results in inflammation of the ITB which is a thick tight band that passes from the hip to the (lateral) part of the knee. Common in runners, especially when starting a running program or increasing the intensity, during or frequency of running. Symptoms include lateral knee pain tha tis especially sharp and stabbing, and that often stops you from running. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, gluteal muscle strengthening, stretching, massage therapy, chiropractic and other manual therapy. As with other overuse injuries, ITB syndrome requires addressing any contributing factors such as training techniques, body biomechanical issues and footwear. If especially troublesome, then specialized injections may be needed.  Learn more.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

Overuse injury that results in at the front part (anterior) of the knee, that is often felt as “around” or “beneath” the knee cap. Common in sports and exercise that involve running, jumping, squatting or repetitive knee bending. Symptoms include pain and sometimes grinding sensations. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, gluteal muscle strengthening, massage therapy, chiropractic and other manual therapy. Bracing, strapping and taping can also be used. As with other overuse injuries, patellofemoral syndrome requires addressing any contributing factors such as training techniques, body biomechanical issues and footwear.

Runner holding knee
knee xray

Quadriceps Tendonitis

Overuse injury that results in inflammation of the quadriceps tendon which connects the thigh quadriceps muscles to the top of the knee cap. Typically occurs from excessive jumping, squatting, running or sudden decelerations. Symptoms include pain at the front of the knee just above the knee cap, and sometimes local swelling. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, gluteal muscle strengthening, stretching, massage therapy, chiropractic and other manual therapy. Bracing, strapping and taping can also be used. As with other overuse injuries, patellar tendonitis requires addressing any contributing factors such as training techniques, body biomechanical issues and footwear. If especially troublesome, then specialized injections may be needed.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

An overuse knee injury that occurs in children and adolescents who are physically active, especially during growth spurts between the ages of 10 to 14. Involves inflammation of the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity which is where the patellar tendon connects to the upper shin bone (tibia). Symptoms include pain, local swelling, and a “bump” at the tibial tuberosity. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, gluteal muscle strengthening, quads and hip flexor stretching. Bracing, strapping and taping can also be used, as well as topical anti-inflammatories. As with other overuse injuries, Osgood-Schlatter Disease requires addressing any contributing factors such as training techniques, body biomechanical issues and footwear.

Osteoarthritis

Degeneration of the knee cartilage layer which acts like a shock absorber. Contributing factors include older age, previous serious injuries (e.g. ACL tears, tibial plateau fractures, large meniscal tears), heredity/genetics, and certain professions or activities that put abnormal straining on the knee. Symptoms include pain, swelling, mechanical symptoms (e.g., grinding, catching, clicking), stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Treatment is multi-factorial and includes losing excessive weight, strengthening, appropriate exercise, pain medication and creams, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy, bracing, supplements, injections and may eventually require knee replacement surgery if severe.

It is important to note that specific treatments may vary based on the severity of the injury and individual factors. Seeking professional medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan is recommended for optimal recovery.

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Our physiotherapists focus on sport- and activity-specific rehabilitation. Our goal is to return you to your activity as soon and as safely as possible.

CHIROPRACTIC

Our chiropractors utilize functional assessments to diagnose and determine the appropriate treatment plan and therapeutic methods. These techniques include Active Release Technique (ART), Athletic Movement Assessment (AMA), Diversified chiropractic Manipulation technique.

MASSAGE THERAPY

Our Registered Massage Therapists use preventative and restorative therapies to help you maintain, rehabilitate and improve physical function or relieve your pain.

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Our Certified Athletic Therapists use a full range of treatments to rehabilitate, prevent injury and help you return safely to your sports and other activities.

FOOT ORTHOTICS

Our pedorthists are trained in assessing, casting, design and fitting of foot appliances (orthotics) and in fitting of footwear to reduce painful and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet.

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Our bracing professionals help fit you with a stocked or custom brace so that you may be able to return to sports or recreational activities sooner and safer.

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Our Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist helps to promote good nutrition habits that can help you maintain your energy levels, weight and muscle mass and can lower your risk of certain diseases.

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