Knee injuries are common in the general population, yet most studies have concentrated on special populations. The purpose of this study was to describe the types of injuries, injury events, age, and sex distributions in a community population.
The medical records of all residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, 17 years of age or older who had a first visit for an isolated
acute knee (acute was defined as occurring within 60 days of the physician visit) injury between January 1, 1993, and January 1, 1996, were abstracted.
A total of 664 patients (4/1,000 community adults, 46% women and 54% men) presented to a physician for evaluation and treatment of an isolated acute knee injury. Injured men were on average younger than women and more likely to have an injury during a sports activity, whereas women’s injuries were more likely to be the result of non–sports-related falls. Knee sprain or strain was the most common final diagnosis (36%). Approximately half (49%) of the patients had a single visit. The likelihood of orthopedic surgeon’s care (37%overall
) increased with injury severity and age of the patient. Overall, 12% of subjects had surgical treatment recommended.
Knee injuries are common, often result in a single visit, seldom receive surgical intervention, and the majority are cared for entirely by generalist physicians.