Sports Injury Forum -Michael DeFranco MD | Guest - Brian Cole, MD, MBA. Orthopaedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist.Team Physician for the Chicago Bulls NBA Basketball Team.
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An Overview of Knee Injury in Basketball Interviewer: Let us talk about knee injury just for a minute. There are several structures inside the knee joint that can be injured, ligaments specifically, the anterior cruciate ligament, what we also know is the ACL, the meniscus and articular cartilage. With respect to the ACL, can you tell us what is the function of the ACL and how did it get injured in basketball players? Interviewee: So, the ACL is a ligament that connects the femur or the thigh bone to the tibia and it really functions to as the primary stabilizer that needs the most, besides the ligament on the inner side of the knee called the medial or collateral ligament which rarely requires surgery if it is torn but it is a very common injury. The ACL is probably the second most common injury and very common in basketball. In basketball, it typically occurs as noncontact but at the time players actually in competition or in more than one-on-one situation, in other words, it is very risky for basketball player—unless, he or she is actually competing each other individual and it is probably has something to do at the timing issue where their brain is not entirely connected perfectly well or they may have some rehab issues that are somewhat are minorly deficient that we do a misstep and it is often a noncontact but again, in the heat of battle, when they are jumping up or coming down or running, stopping, pivoting and the tibia, the shin bone goes one way and the femur goes another way and it tears the central ligament in the knee and supplement to that, it’s uncommon for the knee to swell and for the individual to have difficulty in release, initially, bearing weight on the joint, although, that quickly resolves. And basically, what they’re left with is a knee that is unstable or they get a sense of giving way especially with activities requiring acceleration and deceleration. Interviewer: And what about the meniscus? What is the function of the meniscus in the knee joint and is it injured in a similar way to the ACL? Interviewee: Yes. There are two types of cartilages. One is the meniscus cartilage which is a soft C-shape cartilage that is interfold between the femur or the end of the thighbone, the tibia or the shin bone and then there is the articular cartilage which are the hard cartilage, sort of the white line that you might want to see if you had—chicken bone. And they work together in—to provide a smooth gliding surface that’s pain free. So, the meniscus is not uncommonly torn for example at the same time there is an ACL tear and patients may or may not have articular cartilage injuries at the same time or may develop over time, that is what we call regenerative capacity.
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