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Common Knee Injuries Among Athletes and How They Can Be Treated

Knee injuries in sports are among the most common in professional, amateur, and casual sports because the knees play a key role in how an athlete moves. The knee joint is susceptible to muscle strain and ligament tears and is often injured during accidents or falls in sports.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common knee injuries that affect athletes.

jumper’s knee is common in basketball


Patellar Tendonitis

More commonly known as “jumper’s knee,” patellar tendonitis is a knee injury that’s caused by muscle overuse. It typically affects athletes who play sports that involve jumping, sprinting, or landing heavily, such as basketball and volleyball. It can also occur because of overtraining or overexertion. The added stress placed on the tendons in the knees causes them to tear, resulting in muscle inflammation.

Athletes often experience mild to moderate symptoms of patellar tendonitis after sustaining an injury and dismiss them as minor discomfort. However, continuing to train with overused knee muscles tends to aggravate the pain and can lead to dysfunction. The tendon tears may develop faster than they can be healed, and this can put you out of the game for a long time if you neglect rest and treatment.

Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries are especially common among athletes. The ACL is located at the front of the knee and runs diagonally across it. It can easily get injured during contact sports such as football or basketball, affecting knee joint stability. ACL injuries may also be caused due to swift leg movements or a sudden change of direction, resulting in a tear in the ligament.

The PCL is situated at the back of the knee and connects the shinbone with the thighbone. It’s prone to injury in sports such as football, which requires the knees to be in a bent position. If the ligament gets stressed or tears, it can cause imbalance. PCL injuries may also be caused by falls or accidents in which a certain level of force is applied to the ligament while the knee is in a bent position.

football players



The knee is cushioned by small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae. These sacs facilitate the movement between the knee’s tendons and ligaments, allowing them to slide over the joint easily.

During athletic activity, bursae can swell up and become inflamed. This especially happens in case of muscle overuse or excess and repeated pressure exerted at the knee. The injury is called bursitis and it results in a stabbing pain at the joint, followed by stiffness and swelling.

Treating Knee Injuries

The good news is that most knee injuries sustained during sports can be treated. Through prompt medical evaluation and care, athletes can recover from their knee injuries and regain muscle strength, mobility, stability, and flexibility. With the right treatment plan, you’ll be on your way to recovery in no time!

Houston Physicians’ Hospital offers a range of knee pain treatments, including physical therapy, knee replacement surgery, ACL/PCL reconstruction, and knee realignment. Our Sports Medicine Center is where athletes of all levels can find the right doctor and get the care the pros get with our comprehensive approach to treating injuries and conditions unique to athletes.

We also provide general surgery, back and neck pain treatments, spine solutions, and arthritis treatments.

Find a doctor in Clear Lake who’s right for you by visiting the Houston Physicians’ Hospital website.