Knee, Shoulder and Elbow Injury Symptoms
Below is some general information on symptoms of the knee, shoulder and elbow. If you have any specific questions please contact us and if the syptoms are severe, please call 9-1-1.
Knee Injury Symptoms:
Symptoms of an acute ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury includes a sudden popping sound or feeling in the knee, followed by immediate swelling, and the feeling instability or "giving out" of the knee. Pain following an ACL tear can be from moderate to severe depending upon the severity of the injury to the ACL.
Pain under the kneecap (patella) or in the front fo the knee can be indications of chondromalacia patella or a softening or injury to the articular cartilage under the patella. This is usually due to an irritation to the undersurface of the patella due to excessive rubbing of the patella in the trochlear groove.
Swelling in the knee can be an alert that something is wrong within the knee joint. This could be repetitive clicking or popping which could signal a potential meniscal injury that could cause slower bleeding or swelling the joint. Also, inflammation is the body's response to irritation or injury to the structures within the joint.
SLAP tear refers to an injury to the Labrum, specifically the Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior. Ways that you can injure your SLAP include falling on an outstretched arm, taking a direct blow to the shoulder joint, a sudden pulling effect such as lifting a heavy object, or a violent overhead reach such as sliding or falling. Symptoms usually include pain with overhead activities, catching, locking popping or grinding, a sense of instability in the shoulder joint, decreased range of motion and strength. A SLAP lesion can involve the biceps tendon.
Bankart Lesions are typically caused when there is a subluxation or dislocation of the shoulder involving the displacement of the head of the humerus with relation to the glenoid fossa of the scapula. However, instability of the shoulder may not have to include a dislocation, but repetitive stresses to the capsular ligaments can cause the instability and Bankart tear. A torn ligament in the front of the shoulder (anterior capsular ligament) is classified as a Bankart lesion, but this can also occur to the inferior capsular or posterior capsular ligaments.
Rotator Cuff Tear
The rotator cuff is a large tendon comprised of four muscles which combine to form a "cuff" over the upper arm bone, the humerus and attached to the scapula. Injuries to the rotator may result from an acute injury such as fall or from chronic wear and tear and degeneration on the joint and muscle structures. Generally, a rotator cuff injury demonstrates pain in the front of the shoulder that can radiate or refer down the side of your arm. Weakness, decreases in motion and strength, and pain with moving are also symptoms of chronic injuries to the rotator cuff while more acute injuries involve an experience of moderate to severe acute pain, a snapping or popping sensation, and immediate weakness of the arm.
The Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the elbow is a thick, triangular shaped band tissue connecting the humerus to the ulna on the medial side (inside) of the elbow. Most common injuries to this ligament is baseball throwers and pitchers and javelin throwers and can occur in any sport or motion where excessive stress to the medial ligament of the elbow is experienced. Specific pain along the inside of the elbow that is experienced while throwing can be an indication of an injury to the UCL in the elbow.
Tommy John Surgery
Tommy John surgery refers to the surgical reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament of the medial elbow. Grafts can include autografts (taken from the athlete/patient) from the forearm (Palmaris Longus) and from the leg (Semitendinosis or Gracilis - hamstring muscles) as well as allografts (donor grafts) can be used.
Little League Elbow
Little League Elbow refers to injuries to the medial elbow. This is a condition caused by repetitive throwing motions occurring mostly in children who play sports that involve an overhand throw motion. Typically this condition is seen in athletes under the age of sixteen that stress their medial elbow structures, particularly disturbing the growth plate at the medial epicondyle of the humerus.