Knee Pain from Sports: ACL vs. MCL vs. Sprains

Knee Pain from Sports and Common Sports Injuries

Knee injuries are common in sports, and among the most frequently encountered are ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tears, MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) sprains, and general knee sprains. These injuries can be painful and debilitating, affecting athletes of all levels. Knowing the type of knee pain from sports is crucial for proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

ACL Tears are the Most Severe Knee Pain from Sports

The ACL is a vital ligament that connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone) and stabilizes the knee joint. ACL injuries are common sports injuries that involve sudden changes in direction, deceleration, or direct impact, such as soccer, basketball, and skiing. The knee pain from sports associated with an ACL tear is often intense. There might be a loud popping sound at the time of injury. The swelling usually follows shortly after.

MCL Injuries are Common Sports Injuries

MCL injuries are common sports injuries that involve damage to the Medial Collateral Ligament, which runs along the inner side of the knee and provides stability against forces pushing the knee outward. Injuries to the MCL frequently happen due to a direct impact to the outer side of the knee or excessive twisting. The injuries are common in sports like football, hockey, and rugby. The pain from an MCL sprain is localized to the inner knee and can range from mild to severe. Swelling may also be present, but it typically occurs over a longer period than an ACL injury.

Knee Sprains Causing Knee Pain from Sports

General knee sprains refer to injuries involving the ligaments, tendons, or muscles around the knee joint that are not ACL or MCL injuries. These sprains can occur due to overuse, sudden movements, or awkward landings during various sports activities. The pain intensity and location may vary depending on which ligaments, tendons, or muscles are affected. Swelling, stiffness, and difficulty bearing weight are symptoms of knee pain from sports.

When to See a Knee Doctor in Arlington, VA

Common causes of knee pain from sports may be an ACL tear, MCL injury, or general knee sprain. While they share similar symptoms like pain and swelling, the specific ligaments involved and the causes of common sports injuries differ. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment from a knee doctor in Arlington, VA, can be crucial. You can find quality sports medicine urgent care treatment at OrthoOIC. You can schedule an appointment for common sports injuries. We welcome walk-ins for ortho emergency care.