Because of its complex
structure and weight-bearing capacity, the knee is the most commonly
injured joint. Each year, more than 5.5 million people visit orthopedic
surgeons for knee problems.
More severe injuries include bone
bruises or damage to the cartilage or ligaments. There are two types of
cartilage in the knee. One is the meniscus, a crescent-shaped disc that
absorbs shock between the thigh (femur) and lower leg bones (tibia and
fibula). The other is a surface-coating (or articular) cartilage. It
covers the ends of the bones where they meet, allowing them to glide
against one another. The four major ligaments that support the knee are
the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL),
the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament
(LCL). Common symptoms of knee injury
are pain and swelling to the joint. Patients with a knee fracture will
have pain while at rest, and with motion. Deformity is a symptom seen with
knee fractures or dislocations. Patients with knee sprains tend to have
swelling and pain that increases in the first 24 hours after the injury.
term "shin splints" has been widely used to describe any sort of leg pain
associated with exercise, the term actually refers to pain along the tibia
or shin bone, the large bone in the front of the lower leg. This pain can
occur at the front outside part of the lower leg, including the foot and
ankle (anterior shin splints) or at the inner edge of the bone where it
meets the calf muscles (medial shin splints).
are primarily seen in runners, particularly those just starting a running
program. Risk factors for shin splints include overuse or incorrect use of
the lower leg; improper stretching, warm up, or exercise technique;
overtraining; running or jumping on hard surfaces; and running in shoes
that don't have enough support. These injuries are often associated with
flat (overpronated) feet.