The ligament mainly composes of long and stringy collagen molecules and is a short band of tough fibrous connective tissues. It connects the bones to the other bones in and around the joints. It limits joint mobility or prevents certain movements. Which causes knee pain.
Ligament tear in Knee
The ligament can be injured by a sharp change in the direction. This could be because you landed wrong from a jump or because of a force on the knee. The weakness in muscle or in-coordination causes ligament tear or a sprain.
The major knee ligaments are:
- Anterior cruciate ligament – ACL
- Posterior cruciate ligament –PCL
- Medial collateral ligament – MCL
- Lateral collateral ligament – LCL
- Coronary ligament
Knee ligament injuries – Symptoms and Severity
The severity of the sprain depends on the degree of stretching and the tearing of the ligament. If it is a mild grade 1 sprain,the ligament will stretch but not actually break.The severity of the pain is not severe but the risk of repeated injury increases.
In a grade 2 moderate sprain, the ligament gets torn partially.This causes bruising and swelling and it makes it difficult and painful to use the joint.
A grade3 sprain is where the ligament tears completely which causes swelling and sometimes also leads to bleeding under the skin. The joint is very unstable and unable to bear weight.
ACL or torn anterior cruciate ligaments
ACL is a small structure that is less than 1.5 inches long and half inches wide. It arises from the front of the medial femoral condyle and passes through the middle of the knee and attaches between the bony outcroppings that are located between the tibia plateaus.
When the ACL gets hurt it causes the knee to become unstable.
Causes of a torn ACL
ACL gets torn mostly because of an injury like a sport or a fitness activity. The ligament stretches and tears when the foot gets firmly planted and the knee twists and locks or pivots at exactly the same time. This is common among those who play football, basketball or gymnastics where any sudden direction change stresses the ligament and damages it.ACL tear is caused at low speed and occurs when the body is decelerating.
The injury is also caused when the tibia gets pushed forward in relation to the femur. This occurs when skiing or in football where there is a direct blow to the knee front.
Treatment of ACL
ACL repair surgery is recommended only if the patient will benefit from the surgery. It depends on the patient’s level of activity before the injury and what the patient’s activity level would be after the surgery. The health of the patient as well as the patient’s willingness to go for physical therapy and rehabilitation also needs to be considered before he undergoes the surgery.
Patients who do not have a very high activity level can go for non-surgical treatment. Physical therapy can let them improve their strength and return back to their range of motion. ACL surgical repair of the ligament is recommended to those who would like to return to rigorous activities like jumping and side to side sports after the operation.
The ACL can be reconstructed by a surgeon using an arthroscopic surgery. There are other surgical treatments too to repair the tear and the decision of the surgery is taken by the consent of the doctor and the patient.
The torn ends of the ACL are not sewn together because of the blood supply in it. Instead, a graft is used to replace the ACL. In most cases, an autograftor a tissue is taken from the patient’s own body and is used to reconstruct the ACL.
The patient has to undergo a rehabilitation physical therapy and an exercise program to strengthen the hamstrings and the quadriceps before the surgery. It takes six to nine months for the patient to return back to his full activity level after the surgery. If you decide to opt for an ACL reconstruction operation then book surgery packages online to avail discounts.