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Ligament Tear: A Closer Look

ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL

Your bones are connected by ligaments. The bones in the knee include the thigh bone (femur), the lower leg bone (tibia) and the kneecap (patella). In between the thigh bone and the leg bone is another important structure called the meniscus. The medial and lateral menisci are made of soft cartilage that cushions the knee and helps it absorb shock during motion. There are four major ligaments in the knee to help with knee stability, or making sure that your knee doesn’t “give out.”

 

Two of these ligaments are called the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. They are located on the inner and outer sides of the knee. The other two ligaments are found inside the knee joint and are called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. They form an “X” in the middle of the knee, with the ACL located in front.  (en Español)

 

Source and for additional information: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)

Mas informacion sobre lesiones del ligamento cruzado anterior: AAOS en Español

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear. This ligament functions to prevent the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur as well as providing stability with rotation. About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.

ACL tear

 

The ACL can be injured in several ways with, or without contact.

 

Some of these forms of injury include:

  • changing directions rapidly
  • decelerating when running
  • landing incorrectly
  • stopping suddenly
  • direct contact or collision.

 

When you injure your ACL, you might hear a “popping” noise or feel your knee “give out”.

 

Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments.

 

If you have injured your anterior cruciate ligament, you may require surgery to regain full function of your knee. This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your injury and your activity level.

 

For more specific information, please check with your provider.

Make an appointment here to discuss your specific problem further.

 

Click here to discover some basic information regarding this condition.

Source and more information: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)

 

 

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

The collateral ligaments are the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). They are found on each side of your knee. The MCL, located on the inside, connects the femur(thigh bone) to the tibia(larger lower leg bone). The LCL, located on the outside, connects the femur to the fibula (smaller bone in the leg). The collateral ligaments support side-to-side motions and help with stability during unusual movements.

 

The MCL is more commonly injured than the LCL but either one is susceptible to injury during a high energy event, such as a twisting injury, fall or contact sports injury.

 

Collateral ligaments may be treated non-operatively or operatively depending on your degree of tear and if other damage in the knee is present as a result of your injury.

 

For more specific information, please check with your provider.

Make an appointment here to discuss your specific problem further.

 

Source and for additional information: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)

Posterior Cruciate Ligament

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is most often injured with impact directly onto a bent knee. It is not as common and is usually a result of the car accident when hitting the knee on the dashboard, during a collision sporting event or with a fall onto a bent knee.

 

A posterior cruciate ligament tear can be treated in several different ways, operatively and non-operatively. This will depend on several factors, such as the length of time from the tear until your evaluation, the severity of your injury and your activity level.

 

For more specific information, please check with your provider.

Make an appointment here to discuss your specific problem further.

 

Source and for additional information: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)