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The "strained" right knee?

Posted Dec 12 2008 2:58pm

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.
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