Sports Medicine:

Knee & Lower Leg

The Means to Keep You in Motion

The knee is the largest joint in the body and formed where the thighbone meets the shinbone and kneecap. The knee is made up of bone, cartilage, fluid, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Injury to or overuse of any one of these structures can lead to significant limitations to your peak performance, especially if not treated by an experienced orthopedic specialist.


Bones, tendons, and muscles of the lower leg connect the knee joint to the foot. Strain and overuse of the structures of the lower leg can cause pain or hinder playing sports, or even make such basic movements as walking difficult.


The good news is you don’t need to live with severe knee and lower leg pain, because Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center specializes in sports performance treatments designed to get you back on the field, doing what you love. We have treated thousands of knee and lower leg issues for athletes across Eastern North Carolina, and we have extensive experience and expertise in providing non-surgical and surgical options to get you back to your peak performance.


Because of this, we have earned a reputation for patient-centered care and quality outcomes.


ACL, LCL, MCL & PCL Injuries

The knee consists of four primary ligaments. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) on the inside of the knee and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) on the outside together control the knee’s lateral motion and stability. Deep inside the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) crosses in the front and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) crosses in the back and together control the back-and-forth motion of your knee. Approximately half of all injuries occur to the ACL, including full or partial tears.


Meniscus Tear

Two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage, called menisci, in the knee between the thigh and shinbones act as shock absorbers and help to transmit weight from one bone to another during walking and athletic activities. Sports-related meniscus injuries often occur together with other knee injuries, such as ACL tears, with symptoms including pain, stiffness, swelling, catching, locking, the sensation of your knee giving way, or the inability to move your knee through its full range of motion.


Patellar Tendon Tear

The patellar tendon attaches the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shin and works with the muscles in the front of your thigh to straighten your leg. Small tears of the tendon can make it difficult to walk and participate in other daily activities. A large tear is a disabling injury, usually requiring surgery and physical therapy to regain full function.


Sprains & Fractures

If you have a knee sprain, the fibers in one of the ligaments have stretched or torn. This can be caused by a sudden impact, such as a collision during sports, or from putting too much weight or pressure on a muscle, tendon, or ligament, such as during weightlifting or a sudden twist or movement. Common knee and lower leg fractures include those to the distal femur, patellar (kneecap), and tibia. Treatments extend from rest and icing to bracing, physical therapy and, in extreme cases, surgery.

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