Effects of Repeated Knee Injuries in Jiu-Jitsu

Effects of Repeated Knee Injuries in Jiu-Jitsu

In jiu jitsu knee injuries are especially prominent. One notable example of a knee injury significantly sidelining someone is Buchecha’s 2015 injury.

Knee injuries are one of the horrors of most sport. Even in movies there’s a special cringe level of villainy when someone gets shot in the knee.

If there is one joint that causes more panic and stress among martial arts athletes it’s the knee. Black eye? “No problem”, Broken fingers? “I’ll just tape it”, Dislocated shoulder? “It will go back in”. Then a knee sprain occurs and suddenly out comes the inner drama queen and the worry sets in. – Ben Whybrow writes in Complete Guide To Knee Injury Prevention For Grapplers 

Add another layer of stress after the recent discovery that a torn ligament means likelihood of much issues down the line such as arthritis:

 In 2004, there were about 500 A.C.L. operations at those hospitals; in 2014, there were more than 2,500, he reports.

“This is a major issue for me,” said Kocher, who does more than 150 A.C.L. reconstructions a year, mostly in adolescents. “If a 15-year-old gets arthritis in 10 years, knee replacement is not a great option at age 25.”

One of the few long-term studies was done carried out by Britt Elin Oiestad, a physical therapy researcher at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, who followed 181 people for 10 to 15 years after A.C.L. surgery. Seventy-four percent developed arthritis that could be seen on X-rays. Some of those patients had yet to feel arthritic pain; 41 percent of those studied had reported knee pain that indicated arthritis. ” – NYTimes reports.

Clockwise from top: Derrick Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the 2012 N.B.A. playoffs, and despite extensive rehabilitation, he has never been the same; the American skiing star Lindsey Vonn, who has had repeated knee injuries, removing a brace after racing in the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships; Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera after he tore the A.C.L. of his right knee in 2012 while shagging fly balls during batting practice. Credit Tannen Maury/European Pressphoto Agency; Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star, via Associated Press


Some useful things to think about when experiencing knee pain in bjj are:

If you hurt your knee playing rubber guard, you’re doing it wrong. You should be putting your hip at a better angle rather than grabbing your shin and pulling it towards you until your knee pops.

De La Riva is not exactly the most knee friendly guard. If your knees are hurt from dlr your probably engaging your dlr hook too hard. You don’t need to have it super tight you just need a connection and make it sticky. Half-guard (Z guard or 93 guard) and deep half are probably fairly knee friendly.

There are also lots of risks with the half guard lockdown. Some stories were told about people blowing their ACLs trying to fight an aggressive lockdown. Since the lockdown applies pressure in one direction and sometimes to battle it you end up applying force in a different direction then the knee can get hurt.
The lockdown should be done with a backwards half guard which means they end up flat relative to you and hip to hip. If you do it off of regular half guard there’s significant rotational pressure on knee. This isn’t technically illegal, but it is painful as heck.

Jiu-jitsu Rehab Series: Knee Injuries


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