Common Knee Ligament Injuries

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Knee injuries are common, especially to those people who are actively engaged into sports. Injuries to soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons, are the most common, though damage to the bones is also possible. The knees have complex structures which make it delicate if it was injured. If there is any injury to the knee it is possible that more than one structure is affected, and usually the most common part of which that is affected are the ligaments.

The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex. It is also vital to movement. The knee ligaments connect your thighbone to your lower leg bones. There are four primary ligaments in your knee. They act like strong ropes to hold the bones together and keep your knee stable. Collateral Ligaments are found on the sides of the knee. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. They control the sideways motion of your knee and brace it against unusual movement. On the other hand, Cruciate Ligaments are found inside your knee joint. They cross each other to form an “X” with the anterior cruciate ligament in front and the posterior cruciate ligament in back. The cruciate ligaments control the back and forth motion of your knee.

Although different ligaments are affected differently, they are graded the same. There are three grades of injuries that will help to classify what has actually occurred to the ligament that is injured. Management and treatment varies depending on the ligament affected and degree of its severity. Moreover, grading the injuries will make it easier to approximate the extent of ligament damage.

-          Grade 1 injury: is a mild injury involving the ligaments which have been stretched. This is not a serious injury that can cause mild pain and swelling. In simple terms, it is a sprain with no tearing of the ligament.

-          Grade 2 injury: the specific ligament will have a partial tear. It is common to experience both swelling and bruising, and using and moving the joint through a range of motion can be quite painful. It is a partial tear of the ligament.

-          Grade 3 injury: this type of sprain is most commonly referred to as a complete tear of the ligament. It is the most severe, and will cause swelling and often bleeding under the skin. The joint will be unstable and cannot tolerate weight-bearing for it will produce a great deal of pain.

Here are some of the most common knee ligament injuries:

-          Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury occurs when there is a rapid and abrupt changing of direction, and slowing down when running. Also, landing from a high jump can cause ACL injury.

-          Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury is the injury to the medial collateral ligament is usually caused by a direct blow or force coming from the outside of the knee.

-          And the posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury which is caused by a forceful direct blow to the front of the knee or when a person commits a simple outbalance.

Treatment of knee ligament injury varies according to the severity and involvement of ligaments. A physician needs to a thorough examination to establish the proper intervention for the patient. Most often than not, surgery is used to treat knee ligament injuries. It will depend on the medical advice of your healthcare provider.

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