Joint Injury Series – The Knee

Anterior (front) view of the knee.Pain is a part of every real sport and Motocross is not different. Broken bones, concussions and bruised egos are inevitable. Collar bone breaks are very common among riders, but another common injury is one to the joints. Your knees, shoulders and ankles take a heavy beating and over time, they could become weak and give out at the wrong time. Knowing what is happening and what to do is important to know so you can get on the bike faster.


Every part on the human body is important, but the knee is extremely critical in motocross. And it probably takes the most abuse. Your knee is a simple ball and socket joint with lateral (outside), medial (inside), anterior (front) and posterior (back) ligaments. Supporting your knee, you have a tough fibrous tissue called a meniscus, which can be lateral and medial to the ball of the femur (thigh bone).  Injuries to the knee can be graded as mild, moderate or severe depending on tears, partial tears, and the range of motion.

For mild injuries, a few days to a couple of weeks should be a good amount of time for recovery. Moderate ones take a few weeks to a few months and severe injuries take months or even year(s) to fully heal. When you injure your knee, you are tearing a ligament, breaking one of the bones or damaging a meniscus.

Take for instance, a force directed to the outside of the knee. The force is applied to the lateral ligaments, which are compressed. However, your medial ligaments are pulled away from the insertion points. This can result in sprains (mild), tears (moderate) or even ruptured (severe) ligaments. Your meniscuses are crushed and/or ripped apart. Another common motocross injuries results from hyperextension. This is where your knee is bent the wrong way, but far enough to injure the lateral and medial ligaments.

Now, I know this sounds pretty bad, but your knees are pretty resilient to most forces. Wearing knees braces helps tremendously with the prevention of almost every type of knee injury out there. With these types of injuries, they take a long time to heal; and once they do heal, odds are they probably won’t be the same again. Protection is crucial in avoiding the pains of tearing something and paying the bills. Tomorrow I will dive into the ankle and common injuries for that. I will also get you some info on healing these types of injuries. Stay tuned!

Posted on Aug 16 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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