Knee Ligament Injury Specialist
Which knee ligament is most often injured?
Each knee has four main ligaments: two collateral ligaments and two cruciate ligaments. The collateral ligaments are located on each side of the knee. They help control side-to-side movement.
The cruciate ligaments — the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) — are found in the center of the knee joint, with one located more to the front and the other immediately behind it. They cross in a cruciate, or X, fashion, hence the name.
The ACL controls rotation and forward translation of the shin bone (tibia), while the PCL controls the bone from slipping backwards.
All knee ligaments may be injured, but the ACL is one of the most often injured.
What causes torn ACL injuries?
Although the ACL can be damaged by direct contact with a person or object, most ACL injuries are caused by specific movements.
The movements most likely to cause an ACL tear include:
- Making a sudden stop
- Rapidly changing your direction
- Landing a jump incorrectly
- Pivoting and sidestepping maneuvers
- Rapid deceleration while running
The risk of injuring your ACL increases when participating in such sports as football, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, and basketball.
What symptoms will I develop following a knee ligament injury?
When you first tear a ligament, you may notice a significant pop or tearing sensation. You’ll also experience symptoms such as:
- Pain and swelling
- Knee instability
- Loss of motion
- Tenderness along the joint
- Difficulty walking
- Knee buckling or giving way
About half of all ACL injuries occur along with damage to other parts of your knee, such as the meniscus and articular cartilage.
How is a knee ligament injury treated?
Each patient’s treatment is customized, depending on the severity of the injury, the degree of knee instability, and your overall health and activity level.
If you have a partial ligament tear and the knee joint is stable, your ligament could heal with nonsurgical treatment such as rest, activity modification, and physical therapy to help restore strength and motion.
If your joint remains unstable, your ligament is completely torn, or other structures in the knee are damaged, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgical repair is also the best way to ensure full rehabilitation so that you can get back to your usual activities.
Torn ACL Surgery in Knoxville and Athens, TN
To receive expert care for a knee ligament injury, call ORTHOKnox or book an appointment online.