The CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament is underway, and many of you have already spotted top soccer athletes sporting KT Tape! And last night the United States advanced to the quarterfinals with a one goal lead over Guadalupe at the new Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City! One of the most common KT Tape applications used in soccer is the for the Knee, and for all those soccer players out there, here is an article by Dr. Gregory Waryasz for Livestrong.com on why and how different knee injuries occur: Overview Soccer is a sport that can result in a wide variety of sports medicine injuries to the knee. Patients can develop knee pain from either acute trauma or from chronic repetitive motions. Injuries to the structures in the knee can occur in isolation or in combination with other injury patterns. More complex injury patterns and acute traumatic injuries involving multiple ligaments or menisci usually require surgical treatments. ACL Tear The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a ligament located within the knee joint that helps stabilize the knee. It is commonly injured in sports where athletes twist and turn rapidly. Patients usually develop knee swelling, tenderness and instability. Patients often hear a "pop" when the injury occurs. The ACL usually requires surgical reconstruction, according to the "AAOS Comprehensive Orthopaedic Review". Meniscal Tear There are two menisci in the knee: lateral and medial. Either meniscus can tear due to trauma, but the medial meniscus is torn approximately three times more than the lateral meniscus, according to the "Review of Orthopaedics". Meniscal tears can occur from contact or non-contact trauma. Patients usually develop instability, swelling and pain in the knee. Depending upon the type of meniscal tear, patients either can be treated with physical therapy or surgery. MCL Sprain The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, is a primary stabilizer for the inside or medial aspect of the knee. The MCL can be injured in three grades according to the "AAOS Comprehensive Orthopaedic Review". A grade 1 injury is a few torn fibers, but there is no change in the ligament integrity. A grade 2 injury is an incomplete ligament tear with knee instability. A grade 3 injury is complete disruption of the MCL fibers resulting in severe laxity of the knee. Patients are usually treated non-operatively with physical therapy, but some do need surgery especially when there is more than one structure injured in the knee. Patella Dislocation/Subluxation The patella or knee cap is the bone that sits in front of the knee joint. The patella is stabilized by soft tissue structures. During trauma, the patella can become displaced. Dislocation involves complete displacement of the patella, while subluxation is an incomplete displacement of the patella in relationship to the femoral trochlea where the patella usually sits. Patients may injure the soft tissue structures around the knee including the medial patellofemoral ligament. Patients are initially treated with rest, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Some patients require surgery to help improve the stability of the patella during knee motion. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Patellofemoral pain syndrome or PFPS, is a type of overuse injury due to maltracking of the patella during knee motion that results in chronic pain behind the patella. PFPS is also known as "runner's knee". Patients are initially treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Some patient who fail to improve with physical therapy require surgery. Patellar Tendinitis Patellar tendinitis is an overuse injury where there is pain with knee motion due to inflammation of the patellar tendon. Patellar tendinitis, or "jumper's knee", is seen commonly in sports that involve jumping activities. Patients have pain just below the knee cap and difficulty moving the knee due to pain. Patellar tendinitis usually responds well to rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. To read more visit Livestrong.com.