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Sports Medicine, by Cassie Beseman

If you’re a Vikings fan, you’ve received some bad news recently. The preseason started off great with a lot of potential. Then Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season ending injury during a non-contact play. To make matters worse, Adrian Peterson suffered an injury in the game on the 19th against the Green Bay Packers. Today’s article will explore the anatomy of the knee and briefly explain the two major injuries the Vikings players have sustained.

 

We’ll start with basic anatomy of the knee. The knee is made up of the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia) and the kneecap (patella). There are also four major ligaments in the knee that prevent motion in all four directions; the medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside or medial side of the knee, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside or lateral side of the knee, and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as well as the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are found deep inside the knee to prevent forward and backward motion of the tibia on the femur.

Another important structure inside our knee is our meniscus. We have two menisci (one on the medial and one on the lateral side) that provide cushion so our bones don’t rub on each other. Lastly, we have muscles over our knee that provide stability and allow our knee to move; the major muscles include our quadriceps muscles located on the front of our thigh, our hamstring muscles on the back of our thigh, and our calf muscles that insert above our knee.

Teddy Bridgewater’s injury was a dislocation of his knee. That means that his thigh bone and his shin bone separated and were not in their correct position. When this happens we worry about a lot of structural damage as well as possible nerve or arterial damage. Luckily, Teddy had no major nerve or arterial damage. But he did sustain an injury to his ACL and other ligaments as his knee dislocated.

He was rushed to the emergency room where doctors put his knee back in the correct position. He successfully had his ACL repaired either from an allograft (a tendon from another person), his patellar tendon (runs over his kneecap from his quadriceps), or one of his hamstring tendons. The recovery for an ACL repair is typically six to nine months. Vikings fans can maintain hope for a speedy recovery and an excellent start from him next season.

Adrian Peterson sustained a meniscus injury during his game against the Packers. He was tackled and came off the field limping; by the end of the game, Peterson was on crutches with a knee brace leaving Vikings fans nervous about the rest of the season. Peterson got an MRI of his knee and found out he has a torn meniscus.

There are two options for surgery for him. Peterson decided to repair his meniscus which will take three to four months to recover (up to six months). The other option he could have chosen was to remove the tear which would’ve taken four weeks to recover. So Vikings fans can be confident their veteran running back will be ready to go next season as well.

Do you have a question regarding sports medicine that you would like to see addressed in this space in the future?  Send your questions to SportsMed@lrhc.org and it may be featured in an upcoming article.

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