Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

On Your Knees

Knowing how they work can reduce your chances of injury and speed up recovery.

Knee problems are among the most common disabilities in sports. They can significantly alter the future quality of your athletic life. It's important for every active woman to reduce her chances of knee injury and increase her odds of recovery should one occur.

The knee is a complex hinge joint that requires balance between the forces that align and move it. This delicate balance can be disrupted by either injury or muscle weakness. When the knee is unbalanced, uneven weight distribution on joint surfaces can result in further injury from instability or degenerative changes such as arthritis.

The balance of forces in the knee is provided by ligaments, cartilage and muscles. The internal surface of the knee is lined with cartilage and stabilized by the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, which cross inside the joint.

The meniscus cartilage is a pair of cushioning pads shaped like wide crescent moons; they rest between the femur (the thigh bone) and the tibia (the big bone of the lower leg). Damaged cartilage does not regrow and may have to be removed or surgically repaired. Surgery may also be the recommended treatment for a torn cruciate ligament.

The sides of the joint are stabilized by the collateral ligaments. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside of the knee, and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. Most collateral ligament knee injuries are now treated nonsurgically with devices such as protective bracing.

The joint is surrounded by a membrane of material like thick plastic wrap, called the capsule. The capsule is lined on its inner surface by the synovium, which produces a clear fluid that bathes and lubricates the knee. Both the capsule and the synovium can be torn or damaged, resulting in thickening and scarring.

A swollen knee indicates increased fluid in the knee joint. The fluid could be blood from a torn blood vessel, caused by injury or increased synovial fluid produced in the joint, resulting from overuse or an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.