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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

The knee is a complex joint and one of the most easily injured. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, knee pain is the reason for millions of doctor visits every year.

At Inova Sports Medicine, we provide accurate diagnosis and expert treatment for a wide variety of knee injuries. Our fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians and other specialists offer the latest treatments and technology, so you can get back to the activities you love, pain free.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

ACL tears are one of the most common knee injuries. The ACL controls forward movement and rotation of the shinbone, so ACL injuries can happen in sports with sudden cuts and pivots, like football, soccer or basketball. Learn more about knee ligament treatment and our comprehensive ACL treatment options.

Treatment for ACL injury involves:

  • RICE method: Rest, Ice, gentle Compression and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Wearing a brace to protect the knee
  • Surgery to reconstruct the ligament in your knee

Learn more about knee ligament injuries 

Articular Cartilage Injury

Articular cartilage cushions the bones that meet at the knee (the patella, shinbone and thighbone) to prevent friction. Knee cartilage may tear when the knee is twisted while bearing weight.

Treatment for articular cartilage injury may include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Wearing a brace to protect the knee
  • Surgery to repair or replace the damaged cartilage

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury

The LCL stabilizes the outside of your knee. Tears usually occur when a sudden force is put on the outside of the knee joint. 

Treatment for an LCL injury may involve:

  • RICE method: Rest, Ice, gentle Compression and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Wearing a brace to protect the knee
  • Surgery to reattach the ligament to the bone, sew the torn ends together or reconstruct the ligament. If we cannot repair the ligament because the damage is too severe, we may perform a tendon reconstruction.

Learn more about knee ligament injury

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury

The MCL supports the inside of your knee and is commonly injured in high-impact or cutting sports like skiing, soccer and football. An injury to the MCL is often referred to as an MCL sprain. 

Treatment for MCL injury includes:

  • RICE method: Rest, Ice, gentle Compression and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Wearing a brace to protect the knee
  • Surgery to reattach the ligament, repair or reconstruct the ligament together

Learn more about knee ligament injury

Posterior Cruciate ligament (PCL) Injury

The PCL controls the shinbone’s backward movements and is most often injured by a direct blow to the knee while it’s bent. 

Treatment for PCL injury may involve:

  • RICE method: Rest, Ice, gentle Compression and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Wearing a brace to protect the knee
  • Surgery to reconstruct the ligament

Learn more about knee ligament injury

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a cushioning cartilage between the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia). It typically gets injured when the knee is twisted while bearing weight on it. 

Treatment for a torn meniscus includes:

  • RICE method: Rest, Ice, gentle Compression and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Strengthening muscles with exercise
  • Surgery to repair or remove the meniscus tear, often using arthroscopic procedures

Learn more about torn meniscus

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Common in growing adolescents, Osgood-Schlatter’s causes inflammation where the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the shinbone. It often occurs in children who play sports that involve running and jumping.

Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease may involve:

  • RICE method: Rest, Ice, gentle Compression and Elevation
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Wearing a knee strap
  • Strengthening muscles with exercise

Kneecap (Patella) Pain or Instability

The kneecap connects the muscles of your thigh to your shinbone. Normally, your kneecap fits into a groove in your knee. Kneecap instability occurs when your kneecap slides out of the groove. This can result in a kneecap dislocation (subluxation). You may experience knee pain, especially when sitting, or find that your knees can no longer support your weight. You may also experience instability or “shifting of the knee cap.”

Treatment for kneecap instability:

  • Restore the kneecap to its place, if it has been completely dislocated. Your athletic trainer or doctor may need to apply pressure to push the kneecap back into place.
  • Exercise and braces to strengthen the muscles
  • Surgery, to correct the instability or to repair the damaged kneecap cartilage

Preventing Knee Injuries

We know you are eager to return to your active lifestyle. After treating your knee injury, our specialists will help you regain your strength and can teach you specific knee exercises to help reduce your risk of knee injuries. Our team includes physical therapists and athletic trainers who are certified in Sportsmetrics™, a national ACL-injury prevention program.

You can help prevent knee injuries by:

  • Warming up and stretching before playing sports
  • Strengthening specific muscle groups important to your sport
  • Gradually increasing intensity and time spent exercising
  • Wearing well-fitting shoes
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to avoid putting excess pressure on your knees