Knee Ligament Injury


Overview

There are four ligaments in your knee that are used to stabilize the joint. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament(ACL) is the most common injured ligament in the knee.  The Posterior Cruciate Ligament(PCL) helps the ACL connect the thigh and shin bone together in the knee.  The Medial(MCL) and Lateral(LCL) Collateral Ligaments connect the thigh and shin bones on the outside of the joint.  The knee can become unstable when one or more of these ligaments becomes damaged.

Condition

Knee ligament injuries can occur from many motions but mostly during twisting and sudden change of direction during sports.  The ligament stretches or tears causing the knee to feel unstable.

Symptoms & Signs

There is usually a “popping” sound followed by pain, swelling and limited range of motion in the knee joint. Depending on the degree of injury symptoms may increase.

Treatment

Depending on the degree of injury treatment can include physiotherapy, ligament knee bracing, cryotherapy and in some cases surgery may be required.  

Symptoms & Cause

With a significant ligament injury there often is a “popping” sound that can sometimes be heard by people around you.  This can be followed by feeling very unstable on the affected leg.  Individuals often describe the knee as feeling wobbly or going that it wants to give way. Significant pain if often felt during the injury, but is some cases pain goes away quickly when the ligament is completely torn.  There is often swelling of the whole knee depending on the degree of injury.  The ACL ligament is the most common injured ligament in the knee with athletes and women  found to be more susceptible.  There is usually a twist in the leg with the foot planted, sudden change of direction, or a direct blow to the knee causing overloading to the knee ligament(s).

Diagnosis & Treatment

Proper diagnosis of an injury to the knee joint by a physician determines the course of action taken to help recover form an injury.

Treatment for knee ligament injuries may include:

  • Rest / activity modification
  • Medication recommended by your physician
  • Ice or cold packs to reduce inflammation
  • A knee brace for support and protection of the injured knee
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgery as determined by an orthopaedic surgeon

If you are experiencing knee pain or discomfort, you should consult your physician for a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

 

Your doctor may refer you to OKAPED to see a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for Pedorthic management of your knee pain. This may include orthopaedic footwear, shoe selection guidance, orthotics and/or a knee brace. If you know your condition and want to learn about new products and treatments please give us a call.

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