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Knee injury (site of impact and possible cause)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Was there impact with the ground, an opponent or other structure?

  • most anterior cruciate ligament tears are non-contact twisting injuries

  • blow to the anterior aspect of knee
    • blow to the hyperextended knee:
      • causes include anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterolateral corner injuries
    • blow to flexed knee (such as in a dashboard injury):
      • causes include posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury

  • blow to the lateral aspect of knee (valgus injury)
    • results in sudden stretching of medial-sided knee structures
      • superficial medial collateral ligament most at risk for injury

  • blow to the medial aspect of knee (varus injury)
    • increases stress on the outside of the knee
      • possible posterolateral corner injury



  • Evaluation and Treatment of Knee Pain: A Review. JAMA 2023 Oct 24;330(16):1568-1580

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