A ligament is the fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones and provides support to joints. The knee is a hinge joint which has a number of ligaments that are essential in maintaining the stability within and around the knee. The knee consists of two cruciate ligaments (anterior and posterior) found centrally within the knee and two surrounding ligaments on the inside (medial collateral) and outside (lateral collateral) of the knee. These ligaments when under extreme load can strain or tear and cause weakness in the knee. Ligament injuries to the knee are very common in sport. Most injuries to the knee occur from a rapid explosive load on the ligament by sudden bending, changing directions or from the impact of a trauma/blow. Depending on the severity of the injury, knee instability can occur and may require surgical intervention to help restore stability in the knee.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Extreme pain in the knee after the injury, commonly over the site of tear.
- Inability to move the knee due to pain.
- Swelling may occur within the first few hours to overnight.
- Knee will feel weak/unstable, giving way sensation and may have produced an audible “pop or crack” noise during time of injury. (Commonly ACL/PCL)
- Unable to weight bear or walk due to pain, swelling and instability.