Why Your Knees Buckle


Knee buckling — and even the feeling that one’s knee might buckle — is common among older adults. Studies show that nearly 12% of adults between 36 and 94 reported at least one episode of knee buckling within the last three months. Since the age range included in these studies was relatively large, the statistic 12% is somewhat misleading. In fact, the phenomenon of knee buckling is relatively rare among people under 60, and increasingly common among those over 60.

The danger of knee buckling is particularly important in the older population since it can lead to falling, and falls are a major danger for older people. The most common way for an elderly person to lose their independence is through a fall. The danger of a broken hip, a broken arm, internal bleeding and a variety of other injuries are all common consequences of falling in the elderly.

Although many people think that knee buckling is caused by osteoarthritis, studies have shown that fewer than half of the people who experience knee buckling have osteoarthritis. One of the difficulties in determining the precise cause of knee buckling is the fact that the knee is a rather complex structure.

The knee consists of two joints which allow it to move in a variety of directions. These joints are supported by three types of tissue:

  1. Cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber, and allows smooth movement of the knee joints.
  2. Ligaments, which connect the knee joints.
  3. Tendons, which connect the muscles of the leg to the bones of the knee.

Since one or more parts of the knee structure can become damaged, it can be difficult to isolate the exact cause of knee problems.

However, the 5 most common causes of knee buckling are:

1. Torn Ligaments

Tearing a ligament will result in instability — and severe pain — in the knee.

2. Bone fragments

A fragment of bone or cartilage can become trapped between the joints of the knee, making moving the knee difficult or even impossible.

3. Dislocation of the kneecap

Misalignment of the kneecap causes pain and instability.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation, whether due to disease or knee injury, can be extremely painful and interfere with smooth movement of the knee.

5. Arthritis

Arthritis can cause instability in the knee. Injury and worn cartilage often lead to arthritis.

Minor damage to the knee can sometimes be healed through physical therapy, which will help to strengthen weak or damaged tissue. More serious damage, however, usually requires surgery. In all cases of knee instability, physical therapy will play a major role in the healing, stabilization and strengthening of the knee.

Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center conveniently located in scenic Lakewood, NJ, offers a specialized SMART Rehab program that is created to suit each patient’s individualized care plan based on their personal physician’s protocol, assuring the best clinical outcomes.

Our SMART Rehab Therapy Gym is equipped with the latest and best in innovative therapeutic equipment, and provides therapy seven days a week.

Moreover, our beautiful nursing home and rehab center is situated on beautifully landscaped grounds, and provides the comfortable and pleasant living experience that is essential to enhancing quality of life, thus promoting recuperation, health, and well-being.

Our long-term care program emphasizes a restorative approach, encouraging each patient’s potential to maximize function and mobility.

Read our reviews on senioradvisor.com, caring.com, and wellness.com to hear what our residents and their families have to say.

Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.

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