Acute Knee Injury

This information has been written to help steer you through the process of what happens after injuring your knee. It outlines what types on injuries there are, how a diagnosis is made, and what sort of treatment is possible.

The knee

The knee is a complex joint between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) with the kneecap (patella) sitting in front. It is held together by ligaments and surrounded by a joint capsule which encapsulates the joint lubricant fluid.

What injuries are there?

The most common knee injuries are:

  • Simple sprain – by twisting or overstretching, ligaments can be stretched but remain intact
  • Torn ligaments – the anterior cruciate or posterior cruciate or collateral ligaments can be torn
  • Torn meniscus – damage to the ‘footballers cartilage’ cushion between the bones
  • Dislocation of the kneecap – ‘patella dislocation’
  • Articular cartilage injury – damage to the smooth articulating lining of the knee, the bearing surface