Ligament Tears / Injury
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
The typical history for a ligament injury is an obvious injury event associated with immediate painful swelling. Patients may have difficulty bearing weight on their injured limb. After acute pain and swelling subside knee instability / popping / giving way is the dominant symptom. Ligaments injured are often associated with meniscus tears / articular cartilage injuries.
Initial treatment may include physical therapy to diminish pain and swelling and regain range of motion. Most collateral and posterier cruciate ligament tears only require physical therapy prior to returning to normal activity. Some patients with ACL injuries may only require bracing and physical therapy prior to returning to athletic activities. Knee ligament reconstructive surgery is recommended for active patients with persistent knee instability or younger patients to prevent further knee injury. Knee ligament reconstructive procedures may involve using the patient's own tissue or the tissue of a donor. Post-operative physical therapy and appropriate bracing are an integral part of recovery.