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This article discuss a knee injury and the common mechanism of that injury
Female University of Hull staff demonstrating knee assessment technique

Knee injury can be really common in both elite, amateur and recreational sport. An injury that you may have heard of is an ACL injury; Anterior Cruciate Ligament. This is a ligament inside your knee joint (anatomically we’d say it was an ‘intra-articular ligament’) and it’s job is to stabilise your knee. It helps to prevent your knee from twisting or rotating and stops your shin from moving too far forwards (anatomically we’d say it ‘prevents anterior translation of the tibia’).

These injuries can occur during contact i.e. in a rugby tackle, or a sack in American football, as well as when there isn’t any contact with a person or object. These non-contact injuries often occur in a very particular way.

Watch the first 2-minutes below video of Klay Thompson sustaining such a non-contact ACL injury. If you can – pause the video around 1 min 24 secs and 1 min 39 secs.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Do you notice the position that their left knee is in? Visually you can see that their knee ‘falls in’. This falling in is called ‘dynamic knee valgus’. During a dynamic movement, the knee joint comes towards the middle of their body (knee valgus) and their hip also points the middle of their body (hip adduction). These body positions and movements are a typical mechanism of injury.

Left knee position

If you are working in a sports club and an athlete sustains this type of injury it is the sports rehabilitators, physiotherapists or club doctors that initially manage the injury. Sometimes the athlete may need surgery and then rehabilitation. At this point the sports rehabilitators or physiotherapists would also work closely with a strength and conditioning coach as well as the coaching staff to help design and implement the most effective rehabilitation programme to get the athlete back to competition as quickly, and safely, as possible.

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Introduction to Sport, Health, and Rehabilitation Sciences at University

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