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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The "strained" right knee?

Lots of knee related content this week. My good buddy Eric Cressey sent me the following link today regarding a knee injury to Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison. Please observe:


While I don't expect pro-level teams to divulge what's going on with all their athletes, let's be clear that there's a significant difference between a strain and a sprain.

From the Mayo Clinic website:

Sprain - A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another. Common locations for sprains are your ankles and knees.

Strain - A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. People commonly call strains "pulled" muscles. Hamstring and back injuries are among the most common strains.

Now I don't know about you, but when I see someone's knee buckle like that, it's pretty rare that it's a simple "strain." The exception would be if someone blew their quad tendon, which he doesn't appear to have done.

Instead, when buckling occurs it typically occurs due to ligament damage - possibly a torn ACL, MCL, etc. I'm no sports medicine doc, but I'd be surprised if this was a simple muscle pull and that he's out a week or so. (For his sake, however, I hope I'm wrong - he's a helluva player.)

So as I stated up front I don't expect teams to divulge all their insider secrets, but at the very least the reporting of injuries leaves a lot to be desired for an anatomy geek such as myself.

Stay strong


If you want to learn more about knee injures and how to prevent them, check out my knee manual.


wtfree3 said...

Mike - Just as a follow up - turns out the injury was just a patella tendon contusion, not the worst case that the video seemed to indicate. (Still sounds bad to me.) Just plain weird type of injury to have things slip like that.

Mike Robertson said...

Yeah, I saw that - good for him! I'm really glad to hear it, as an ACL or patellar tendon tear would've put him on the shelf for the year.

I'm still a little confused as to how it's a contusion since it appeared to be non-contact, but at the very least his season is saved and it sounds like he'll be ready for opening night!

Stay strong