Knee problems send almost 20 million people to a doctor’s office each year. Injuries to the knees are common to all sports and cumulative wear and tear on the knee sends large numbers of older people to doctors’ offices as well.
“The knee is vulnerable to injury because it is a hinged joint,” says Dr. Stuart Styles, knee treatment specialist with Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group. “That means it moves in two directions as it bends and straightens, but in a single plane. When forces are applied to the knee from outside that plane — as in, say, a football tackle — injury is likely to one or more of the components of the knee: the bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, or tendons.”