Knee injuries are a common occurrence in the world of soccer. You are constantly moving and often landing oddly, and stopping and changing direction abruptly. The knees can withstand a lot of impact, but sometimes the smallest misstep can result in an injury. There are a host of knee issues, but a few of these are commonly seen in soccer players.
Knee Injuries Common to Soccer Players
An ACL injury is one where the anterior cruciate ligament is injured. In many cases, this ligament is torn. Wearing cleats and rapid changes in direction are common causes of this injury.
A PCL injury is one where the posterior cruciate ligament is injured. A blow to the front of your knee is the most common cause of this knee injury.
A MCL injury is one in which the medial collateral ligament is injured. A blow to the outside area of the knee is the most common cause. This one is especially prevalent in soccer.
Torn cartilage is also quite common, especially the meniscus. This is a small shock absorber attached to the ligaments of the knee. Cutting, twisting, decelerating and pivoting can cause this injury. In the majority of cases, the injury will occur when you are doing one of the above and experience a direct blow to the knee.
How are Knee Injuries Diagnosed?
When you injure your knee, your doctor will perform a variety of tests to ensure that he diagnoses the correct injury. To really look at the bones in the knee, a regular X-ray can be done. To look at the cartilage and ligaments, an MRI or a CT scan is best and can provide very good pictures of the knee's soft tissues.
Preventing Knee Injuries
Knee injuries are painful and they can take you off the field for quite some time, depending on the injury and its extent. So, you definitely want to work to prevent experiencing one in the first place. First, stay in shape and keep your knees healthy. This means that you should continue training in the offseason to keep your knees accustomed to the demands of soccer. You want the knee joint to be as mobile as possible, and the muscles associated with the knee to be as strong as flexible as possible. This will help you move better and prevent injury. Shin guards can help to protect the knees and legs in terms of direct contact. Supportive shoes and being aware of how you move and your environment can also help to keep your knees healthy and injury-free.