Johns Hopkins All Children's Sports Medicine

Knee Conditions

Our Pediatric Sports Medicine team put together these videos to provide information for you.

The knee joint is one of the most frequently injured areas of the human body, especially for athletes. Whether your athlete needs physical therapy or surgery, our sports medicine specialists are dedicated to getting athletes back in the game safely. Common knee conditions include:

Knee Conditions
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
The ACL is one of the main ligaments that stabilizes the knee joint. Direct contact injuries or sudden sharp changes in direction can stress the ACL and cause it to tear. Athletes may feel a pop in the knee and have immediate swelling and pain.
Discoid Meniscus
A discoid meniscus can cause pain, stiffness and swelling of the knee. Specific tests can help confirm the diagnosis and arthroscopic surgery is often necessary.
IT (Iliotibial) band syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome causes pain and inflammation on the outer side of the knee. Athletes involved in activities that involve running are susceptible to this condition. A running analysis may be used to help determine the cause of iliotibial band syndrome.
Knee Cap Dislocation
When the knee cap is dislocated, athletes may notice a deformity in the knee area and may feel like they cannot straighten the leg. With this type of injury, there is significant pain and swelling.
Meniscus Tears
Athletes may have pain, swelling, stiffness, clicking or popping in the knee joint after twisting or direct blow to the knee. The sports medicine physicians at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital can determine the most appropriate treatment for a young athlete with a meniscus tear depending on location, size and pattern of the tear.
Osgood-Schlatter
Physical therapists will work with athletes to ease symptoms, improve strength and flexibility and help improve form through sport-specific activities. They also can find and address any abnormal alignment issues.
Patellar Instability
Patellar instability occurs when the kneecap slips out of place. Symptoms and treatments vary with severity. Patients may experience something as mild as stiffness after sitting for a long time or as severe as the kneecap completely dislocating. 
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Physical therapy can often help athletes with patellofemoral pain syndrome. The therapist will assess posture, alignment, strength, movement and how well sport-specific activities are performed to develop a personal plan of care.
Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome (PFSS)
Athletes whose sport requires a lot of running, jumping, walking or cycling may develop abnormal movement of the kneecap, known as patellofemoral stress syndrome (PFSS.) Pain is located in front of the knee and behind the kneecap and is usually worsened by running, walking, sitting for long periods and downhill movements. There may be swelling, popping, snapping or grinding in the knee.
What is Jumper's Knee (Patellar tendonitis)?
The patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone. Repeated stress from jumping, running, walking or cycling can cause it to become inflamed, especially if there are problems with the alignment of the hips, legs, knees or feet.
Physical Therapy for Jumpers Knee
Physical therapists can help athletes recover from jumper’s knee with a treatment plan that includes reducing inflammation of the tendon and exercises to stretch and strength the quadriceps muscle.

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