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Health Information For Parents
The knee is a joint that joins the thigh bone (femur) to the top of the shin bone (tibia). It is made up of bones,
, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These parts work together to make the legs bend, straighten, and swivel. A knee injury can damage one or more parts of the knee.
Kids and teens may injure a knee in a fall or accident. Active and athletic kids might have overuse knee injuries. These happen when someone trains too much or makes repetitive motions involving the knee.
Common knee injuries in kids and teens include:
of the tendon that attaches the kneecap to the shinbone
The signs and symptoms of a knee injury depend on the cause. Most knee injuries cause pain. A knee injury may also lead to the knee feeling weak, “giving way,” or “locking.” Someone with a knee injury might not be able to fully bend or straighten the knee. The injured knee may be swollen or bruised.
To diagnose a knee injury, health care providers ask about how the injury happened and what symptoms it causes.
The health care provider will do a physical exam that includes pressing on the knee and legs and moving them in certain ways. These tests can show what part of the knee is injured.
Imaging tests done sometimes used include:
Treatment for a knee injury depends on the cause. Some knee injuries just need RICE:
Other knee injuries may need bracing, physical therapy, or even surgery.
To help prevent knee injuries:
If your child’s knee hurts, it is important to know why. Take your child to a health care provider to find out what’s causing the pain and to get treatment.
MCL injuries can happen in active and athletic kids, when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, resulting in a torn ligament.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (or runner’s knee) is the most common overuse injury among runners, but it can also happen to other athletes who do activities that require a lot of knee bending.
Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury that happens when frequent jumping, running, and changing direction damages the patellar tendon.
Bursitis, an irritation of the small fluid sacs that provide cushioning in some joints, is often caused by sports-related injuries or repeated use of a particular joint.
Caroline loved sports. But when an ongoing knee injury kept her from playing the sports she loved, she discovered new interests. Read her story.
Healthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines.
MCL injuries happen when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, causing a torn ligament.
Overuse (or repetitive stress) injuries happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, causing problems like swelling, pain, muscle strain, and tissue damage.
Playing hard doesn’t have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.
Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here’s how to protect your kids.
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is an overuse injury that can cause knee pain in teens, especially during growth spurts. Learn more.
Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn’t stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents. It’s really not a disease, but an overuse injury.
ACL injuries can happen in active and athletic kids when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, resulting in a torn ligament.
The key to healing meniscus tears is not to get back into play too quickly. Find out what meniscus tears are and how to treat them.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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