Acute (sudden) Knee Injuries

Injuries are the most common cause of knee problems. Injuries may be caused by a direct blow to the knee or from abnormal twisting, bending or falling on the knee. Pain, bruising and swelling may be severe and develop within minutes of the injury. Nerves or blood vessels may be pinched or damaged during the injury. The knee or lower leg may feel numb, weak, or cold; tingle; or look pale or blue. Acute injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains to the ligaments and tendons that connect and support the kneecap.
  • Meniscus tear. A tear in the rubbery cushions of the knee joint (meniscus).
  • Breaks (fracture). In the knee, the kneecap, lower portion of the femur, or upper part of the tibia or fibula can fracture. Knee fractures are most commonly caused by abnormal force, such as a falling on the knee, a severe twisting motion, severe force that bends the knee, or when the knee forcefully hits an object.
  • Kneecap dislocation. This type of dislocation occurs more frequently in 13- to 18-year-old girls. Pieces of bone or tissue (loose bodies) from a fracture or dislocation may get caught in the joint and interfere with movement.
  • Knee joint dislocation. This is a rare injury that requires great force. It is a serious injury and requires immediate medical care.

Acute injuries can often be treated non-surgically, but some will require surgical repair. Your Oakland Regional Hospital orthopedist will help you determine the best course of treatment for your knee injury. Click below to make an appointment for a consultation. Or, call the Appointment Hotline at (248) 423-8484.