Types & Causes Of Knee Ligament Injury
When injured a knee ligament may get sprained or ruptured . Tears of the ligaments are more serious and can either be partial with just some of the fibers constituting the ligament torn or complete where the ligament is torn through entirely.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries often occur during demanding sports like football or basketball due to rapid changing of direction or improper landing from a jump.
Posterior cruciate ligament injuries are usually caused by a direct blow to the front of the knee like in a motor vehicle accident or aggressive sports contact. These tears are often partial and if not exacerbated usually heal on their own.
Injuries of the medial lateral ligament are caused by a contact force that pushes or displaces the knee sideways and are usually caused by sporting activities e.g. falling sideways knee first or getting a kick in the knee from the side.
Lateral collateral ligament can be injured by blows to the inside of the knee that push outward. Tears of the lateral collateral ligament are rarer than other injuries to the knee.2,3
Lateral Collateral Ligament And Posterolateral Corner Injuries
The LCL and PLC stabilise the outer side of the knee and can be injured alongside other knee ligaments. The PLC is a collective name for a group of structures in the outer back corner of the knee. If damaged, as part of an acute injury, these structures can be repaired. Adrian has developed a minimally invasive PLC reconstruction technique that has become popular globally and is now carried out by many leading knee surgeons round the world.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The PCL lies behind the anterior cruciate ligament in the middle of the knee, connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone. It controls backwards movement of the shin bone and, although its larger and stronger than the ACL, it can be injured by a direct blow to the shin, causing it to move too far backwards towards the thigh. PCL tears account for around 20% of knee ligament injuries.
Physical Examination And Patient History
During your first visit, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history.
During the physical examination, your doctor will check all the structures of your injured knee, and compare them to your non-injured knee. Most ligament injuries can be diagnosed with a thorough physical examination of the knee.
What Are Knee Ligaments
There are 4 major ligaments in the knee. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and provide stability and strength to the joint. The four main ligaments in the knee connect the femur to the tibia , and include the following:
Anterior cruciate ligament . The ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia .
Posterior cruciate ligament . The ligament, located in the back of the knee, that controls backward movement of the tibia .
Medial collateral ligament . The ligament that gives stability to the inner knee.
Lateral collateral ligament . The ligament that gives stability to the outer knee.
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Knee Ligament Injury Care At Uw Medicine
Choosing UW Medicine for your orthopedic and sports medicine care means getting access to some of the most experienced physicians and surgeons in the country, many of whom have spent years caring for elite and high-level athletes who have ligament and meniscus injuries. The UW Medicine team helps care for athletes from the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Huskies and many youth sports leagues.
Treatment plans for most knee injuries rely on making an accurate diagnosis with a focus on managing pain and rehabilitation to regain function. Surgery may also be necessary to lead to full, functional recovery. Our goal is to restore and optimize the function of your knee so you can get back to the activities you enjoy.
Knee and other sports injuries can be evaluated at any of our sports medicine clinics or orthopedic surgery locations across the Puget Sound region. Physicians and surgeons at the Sports Medicine Center at Husky Stadium are specifically trained in treating elite and high-level athletes of all ages. Most UW Medicine physicians train the next generation of doctors, so you can expect to receive care from doctors who have a wealth of experience and also drive future research and education within sports medicine.
How Is An Acl Injury Diagnosed
Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and examine your knee to check for tenderness, stiffness, swelling and any other problems. He may also ask you to move your knee into different positions to assess your range of movement and the function of the joint.
In most cases, they will arrange for you to have an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. He will also arrange for you to have a magnetic resonance imaging scan to show the extent of the injury and any damage to the surrounding tissues.
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What Are Symptoms Of Acl Pcl Mcl & Lcl Injuries
Depending on the severity of your knee ligament injury, you will experience pain, swelling and varying levels of the following symptoms:
- Redness and swelling
- Difficulty in or inability to put weight on your leg
- A feeling of looseness in your knee or in the joint
- Pain, specifically in the area where the ligament/ligaments are injured
- When a severe grade III sprain occurs, a popping noise is heard
- When a severe grade III sprain occurs, there can be bleeding under the skin
- Occasionally, when a severe grade III sprain occurs, there is no pain, because the pain receptors are severed
Most Common Knee Injuries
The knee is the largest joint of the body, and is also one of the most commonly injured joints. Bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons work together to form your knee joint and allow you to bend your leg. Because of all the moving parts on the knee and the sensitive nature of the joint, its very prone to multiple types of injuries.
If youre experiencing knee pain, its likely that youre suffering from one of the most common knee injuries. Well help you understand the makeup of the knee, as well as how to identify the symptoms of a knee injury. However, only your orthopaedic doctor can determine what injury youre dealing with.
Anatomy of the Knee
Within the knee joint are three bones: the femur , the tibia , and the patella . These three bones meet to form the knee joint. Articular cartilage covers the ends of the femur and the tibia, as well as the back of the patella. The cartilage allows the bones of the knee joint to smoothly glide against one another as you bend or straighten your leg. The meniscus is a tough and rubbery wedge-shaped cartilage located between your femur and tibia. The meniscus cartilage cushions the joint and also acts as a shock-absorber between the femur and tibia bones.
The tendons within your knee connect the muscles to the bones. The quadriceps tendon is located in the front of your thigh and connects those muscles to the patella. The patellar tendon connects your patella to your shinbone.
1. Knee Fracture
2. Knee Dislocation
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Treatment For Knee Ligament Injuries
Specific treatment for a knee ligament injury will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your overall health and medical history
How bad your injury is
How well you can tolerate specific medications, procedures, and therapies
How long it may take for your injury to heal
Your opinion or preference
What To Do Immediately After Injury
Whenever you get injured yourself, initially we do not recommend exercise immediately after the injury. Take rest for the first two-three days. So, during this rest period, we have a RICE formula, and we need to follow it.
So, in the RICE formula, R means Rest, I means Ice, C stands for Compression, and E for Elevation. So, things we have to note is, take rest for two to three days, during this period give icing, please avoid hot packs.
Ice: Apply icing around your knees or on the knee where you have pain or you may use an ice gel pack. You can also use ice cubes from the freezer at home, wrap them in a handkerchief, and apply it in this way.
Elevation: Now, the final one is E, i.e elevation. Elevation means you have to raise the leg. For this simply use two layers of the pillow so as to achieve sufficient elevation. You can even go to sleep with this arrangement, when going to bed make use of 2 to 3 pillow or whatever else is convenient and keep legs elevated to about 30 degrees.
What will happen with this? When you have an injury the chances of swelling increase with an injury around the knee, ankle, and foot. Its very useful in preventing swelling around it.
During this rest period, as I mentioned earlier, you can do quadriceps exercise, or static quadriceps exercise to be specific.
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Treatment Of Knee Ligament Injuries
Swollen knee joints are first drained before further treatment is attempted. The doctor uses a needle to pierce the skin around the injury site and drains the fluid into the syringe then cleans the puncture to prevent infection in the knee joint.2,3
Non surgical treatment options are usually prescribed for mild or partial tears
- Doctors recommend immobilization when further movement may extend the injury or impede healing. The patient may have to wear a knee brace or use a pair of crutches that prevents the knee from moving and keep weight of the leg and the knee.
- Anti-inflammatory medication that are non-steroidal e.g. ibuprofen can be prescribed to ease pain at the site of injury and reduce swelling.
- Paracetamol may be prescribed to ease the pain.
- Physical therapy is prescribed with specific exercises that strengthen the leg muscles and restore normal function to the knee.
Reconstructive knee surgery is typically required for severe injuries affecting the cruciate ligaments that cause either a complete tear or stretch the ligament beyond its natural limits.
- Arthroscopic surgery is usually used to repair torn ACL or PCL by making small incisions and using miniature instruments to repair the damage.
- Traditional open surgery where larger incisions are made and the surgeon has better view and handling of the ligaments can also be used.
Type of surgery used for treatment is dependent on the surgeons experience and the type or extent of the injury.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The ACL is one of the main stabilising ligaments in the knee, connecting the thighbone to the shin bone. ACL injuries are increasingly common, particularly during sports such as football, tennis, squash, rugby and skiing, and currently affect around 40,000 people in the UK each year, including increasing numbers of children.
The ACL is in the middle of the knee and controls rotation as well as the forward movement of the shin on the thigh bone. If its torn, the knee becomes unstable when it is twisted and can give way, as well as losing its full range of movement. As the knee gives way, the delicate structures inside it, as well as the joint surface and meniscal cartilages, frequently become damaged.
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Cartilage Of The Knee
There are two types of the cartilage of the knee joint:
Key Points About Knee Ligament Injuries
- Knee ligaments are the short bands of elastic tissue that holds the knee together. There are 4 main ligaments in each knee.
- Knee ligament injuries can be caused by trauma, such as a car accident. Or they can be caused by sports injuries.
- The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common ligaments to be injured.
- Treatment may include medicine, muscle-strengthening exercises, a knee brace, or surgery.
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The 6 Main Knee Ligaments And How They Work
Whether were walking or just sitting in a chair, we use our knees more often than we think. The knee is known as a hinge joint which means it is only meant to move in a single direction. This characteristic makes it highly vulnerable to injury. Blows from the sides or front, twists, or movements in the wrong direction can cause stretching or tearing of the knee ligaments. There are six types of ligaments in the knee and understanding the anatomy can help you prevent common knee injuries.
Can I Injure A Knee Ligament
An injury to a knee ligament is called a sprain or a tear. Many knee sprains are mild, but torn knee ligaments can be severe.
Knee ligament injuries are common, especially in athletes. The ligaments can be overstretched or torn when:
- Force is applied to the back of the knee when the joint is partly flexed.
- Force is applied to the front of a bent knee .
- Force is applied to the side of the knee when the foot is on the ground .
- The knee is hyperextended , usually by force.
- The knee joint twists in an unnatural way .
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Structures Of The Knee
Again, the knee joint is a hinge type joint. The part of the door that keeps it secured to the wall and allows it to open and close is called a hinge. The majority of the movement allowed by the knee is the same type of motion allowed by a door hinge. It additionally allows for a small amount of rotational movement.
If you think of the knee in layers, the deepest layer is bone and ligaments, then ligaments of the joint capsule, then muscles on top. Various nerves and blood vessels supply the muscles and bones of the knee.
Best Knee Ligament Injury Treatment Exercises
Knee ligament injury treatment with exercises is possible if the injury is of lesser severe form. It is common among athletes, such as football players or hockey players, but it can happen to anyone. You went out for jogging, you stumbled with a slight knee twist resulting in knee ligament injury, or during stair climbing, you took a wrong step and your knee ligament injury could happen.
But you do not need to worry, as if it is still in stage-1 and stage-2, then you can manage it with some simple exercise. If your ligament injury is very severe, then surgery is recommended, as suggested by your surgeon. So, post-surgery, there is a complete dedicated exercise which you must follow or follow your doctors advice.
Follow these effective exercises for minor ligament injury.
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When Should I See A Healthcare Provider For A Sprained Knee
Damage to a knee ligament can weaken the knee joint, increasing the chances that youll injure yourself again.
Talk to a healthcare provider if you have:
- Looseness or weakness in the knee.
- Loss of feeling in the knee or leg.
- Pain on the inside or outside of the knee.
- A popping or snapping noise.
- Repeat knee injuries.
- Swelling around the knee joint.
- Trouble putting weight on that leg.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Knee ligaments are bands of tissue that connect the thigh bone in the upper leg to the lower leg bones. There are four major ligaments in the knee: ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL. Injuries to the knee ligaments are common, especially in athletes. A sprained knee can range from mild to severe. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have a severe knee injury or repeat injuries. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help prevent pain and future injuries.
Ligaments Of The Knee / Everything You Need To Know About Ccl Injuries
Learn about the four major ligaments of the knee. Finding the source will help identify the necessary treatment. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement. Women’s health may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only feature products we believe in. Sprains are injuries that occur when a ligament is stretched or torn.
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
Your PCL is the strongest ligament in your knee and therefore the least likely to sustain injury.
It connects the bottom of your femur to the top of your fibula in the back of your knee, and is responsible for controlling the backwards motion of the knee .
A PCL injury occurs when that ligament is stretched or torn and is often called an overextended knee.
Ligaments Are The Connective Tissues In Joints That That Connect Bone To Bone
There are many different conditions which could be responsible for your pain. Women’s health may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only feature products we believe in. This may require a visit to a physician, and possibly some further testing. You may have difficulty doing everyday tasks like walking or standing up. I can’t say that this is the best for you. Return to start and lift l. Sprains are injuries that occur when a ligament is stretched or torn. Request an appointment using our secure online form. Ligaments are connective tissue made of collagen that link bones together. Learn about the four ligaments of the knee joint, including their location and function, and what happens when they are injured. Ligaments are the connective tissues in joints that that connect bone to bone. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement. There are four major ligaments in the knee, and various motions can damage each of these tissues.
Ligaments Of The Knee / Everything You Need to Know About CCL Injuries – Ligaments are connective tissue made of collagen that link bones together.. Learn about the four major ligaments of the knee. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement. Ligaments are the connective tissues in joints that that connect bone to bone. Sprains are injuries that occur when a ligament is stretched or torn. There are four major ligaments in the knee, and various motions can damage each of these tissues.
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