The Unhappy Triad : a Review and Case Study of Orthopedic Injuries of the Knee Sustained During Athletics
McGuire, Aaron A.
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In modern sports, athletes are well aware there is always a risk of injury whenever the body is being pushed to its limit. In today’s world, the top athletes are easily accessible and on display for many to watch, such as the Olympic Games and other professional sports. Athletes have shown the world that the human body is capable of doing amazing things. Modern athletes are becoming more physically impressive as technology, technique, training, muscle strengthening, and education improve. Despite these advances in sports during the twentieth and twenty first centuries, however, there is still no way to completely prevent athletes from sustaining injuries. Athletes who put high levels of strain on their bodies, or play a contact sport are obviously at an even higher risk to sustain an injury. Among all of the muscles, bones, and joints under stress when exercising, the knee is a particularly susceptible structure. The human knee is a complex system of ligaments and “shock-absorbers,” that bears a considerable amount of body weight and undergoes rapid movement when running, jumping, absorbing contact, and changing direction. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the common orthopedic sport-related injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and meniscus; otherwise known as the “unhappy triad.” The anatomy, function, diagnosis, and treatment options for this injury will be discussed, along with a case study of the author’s own football injury.