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Knee complaints

The ability of humans to walk upright on two legs is based on two fundamentally contradictory structural requirements: Optimum mobility when bending down and maximum power delivery coupled with the necessary stability when stretching. To-date, no technical design or artificial knee joint can come close to imitating the natural structure of the human knee. Our bones must support our body weight throughout an entire lifetime of walking. This fact highlights the strain our knee joints must be capable of withstanding permanently. The knee is our most complex and therefore also most sensitive joint. In particular, the ligaments, menisci and articular cartilage can suffer severe functional impairment due to high levels of strain, wear or injuries. Knee complaints have numerous possible causes. The following overview describes the most common diseases and their backgrounds in brief:

Anterior cruciate ligament tear

A common sports injury with distortion traumas to the knee (where the body rotates over the lower legs fixed in outer rotation). Typical symptoms include swelling of the knee, instability and secondary damage such as torn menisci and cartilage injuries.

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Lateral ligament injuries

Injury to the lateral ligaments (inner and outer ligaments) caused, for example, by sports injuries. The side of the knee becomes unstable and in the case of severe ligament injury can fold upwards to the side.

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Osgood-Schlatter’s disease

A painful deterioration of bone tissue on the anterior shin bone, which typically occurs in boys aged between 7 and 14 years. Possible causes: Overstraining or micro-injuries caused by training.

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Arthrosis / Gonarthrosis

Degenerative wear of the articular cartilage can be triggered, for example, by instability due to pre-existing cruciate ligament injuries, angular malalignment or missing menisci following knee operations. Symptoms include pain when taking the first steps in the morning and a constant tendency for the joint to swell.

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Meniscus lesion / Meniscopathia

Is often incurred as a sports injury. Even minor traumas can lead to cracks (e.g. when standing up from a squatting position). There is a risk of resultant damage to the cartilage coating of both large joint bones, which causes erosion and wear of the articular cartilage in the knee joint (arthrosis) to progress faster than the normal ageing process.

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Patellar lateralisation

Lateral displacement of the kneecap during flexion of the leg, whereby the kneecap is displaced laterally, i.e. outwards, relative to the femur’s cartilage surface.

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Anterior knee pain

Insufficient anatomical development, tilting of the patella or variations in normal anatomy can lead to pain behind the patella when stress is applied when the knee is bent (climbing stairs or walking downhill). In severe cases, this can also lead to luxation. This can also be caused by a temporary growth-related softening of the cartilage behind the patella.

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