Buckling knee in a cheerleader

Patient

Q: I am 14 years old and my left knee creeks, pops, and buckles. it is hard to walk on it, but i still am able to, but it is getting harder evreyday. it is starting to affect my ankle. i tried icing it but it feels the same. im a cheerleader so im thinking that that is why it hurts. what i want to know is what is wrong with my knee?

Doctor

A:   Given the description you did about the problem of your knee, and if you had previous history of a knee injury that you can remember, it might be important to rule out a Meniscus lesion. The menisci are C-shaped wedges of fibro cartilage located between the tibia and femur, and very close related to knee ligaments and attached also to the joint capsule. They are susceptible to get injured with leg rotation movements or rotational forces applied to them, and the lesion produced can be partial or complete tear. Meniscus injuries are common in young and active people as you, who are involved in sporting or physical activities. Locking or buckling is a common symptom after a meniscus lesion develops. Locking usually occurs at 20-45° of joint extension. If a torn fragment has been trapped within the joint, extension may feel limited against a rubbery resistance. Joint inflammation or capsular involvement also may resemble locking. A more reliable indicator of meniscus lesion is a click or snaps after the joint unlocks, it can be or not associated with pain. A sensation of giving way may occur when the loose fragment becomes lodged for a moment in the knee joint, causing a sense of buckling. This finding should be distinguished from the sensation of giving way due to joint instability (eg, ACL tear) or buckling secondary to decreased activity of the quadriceps femoris muscle.
 

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