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  • Writer's pictureDr. Terrell Joseph

Common Knee Injuries in Ice Hockey: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Updated: May 13

In my profession as a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, located in beautiful Vail and Frisco, Colorado, my clinical focus is on sports injuries, particularly those related to the knee, including knee injuries common to the sport of ice hockey. 

Common Causes of Knee Injuries in Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a fast-paced, physical sport, making players susceptible to knee injuries. The most common causes include sudden trauma, collisions, awkward falls, and high-speed stops and starts characteristic of the game, causing minor strains to more severe issues.

Symptoms of Knee Injuries in Hockey Players

Knee injuries in ice hockey cause a range of symptoms, minor to acute.

  • Minor - Mild pain, swelling and stiffness from muscle strains or ligament sprains. Players can often continue to play, with proper care.

  • Moderate - Meniscus tears or mild ligament injuries cause significant pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion. Players might need to rest and receive non-surgical treatments.

  • Acute - Tears to an ACL or MCL, results in intense pain, significant swelling, instability, and the inability to bear weight. Immediate medical attention and surgical intervention are likely.

Treatments for Ice Hockey Knee Injuries 

The approach to treating knee injuries in ice hockey depends on the severity.

  • Non-Surgical: Minor to moderate knee injuries can be managed non-surgically. Rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), physical therapy, and bracing for stability encourage healing.

  • Surgical Intervention: Tears or significant damage indicate surgery. ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, or other advanced techniques to restore knee stability are common.

What to Expect with Dr. Joseph

When patients choose my expertise for their knee injury care, they can expect a patient-centered experience. We begin with a comprehensive evaluation, including imaging studies, to pinpoint the extent of damage. A customized treatment plan, utilizing non-surgical or surgical interventions, is your assurance of a successful treatment.

Results and Benefits

The ultimate goal is to help patients return to the ice hockey arena with confidence. Non-surgical treatments can lead to complete recovery, while surgical procedures aim to restore stability and function. The benefits include improved quality of life, reduced pain, and a full return to play.

As an orthopedic surgeon with a specialization in sports medicine, I have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating ice hockey knee injuries, whether they're the result of a minor strain or a complex ligament tear. I provide my patients with comprehensive care, an accurate diagnosis, a personalized treatment plan, and results patients desire.

Knee injuries in ice hockey are common. With our world-class care, full recovery is the goal. When you choose me and my team at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurology, you receive top-tier expertise, personalized care and the opportunity to get back on the ice, strong and confident. 

Request a consultation if you're experiencing knee issues, and let's work together to get you back in the game.

Call (970) 476-7220 today to make an appointment or submit a request using their online form.

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