LIGAMENT INJURIES TO THE KNEE (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)

Knee ligament injuries in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina can keep you from doing the active things you love. The orthopedic team at Southern Orthopedics and Sports Medicine can provide you with treatment for ligament injuries so that you can return to your sports or hobbies!

The knee is a complex joint composed of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, and can be quite prone to injury. Knee injuries can occur from overuse or sudden injury while playing sports or performing a particular action. Common symptoms of a knee injury include pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are several different types of knee injuries that can occur:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury: The ACL is located in the center of the knee and controls rotation and forward movement of the shin bone. When an ACL injury occurs, it is typically from a twisting motion or hyperextension of the knee. ACL tears are usually the result of an abrupt directional change while the foot is fixed on the ground, or when deceleration force crosses the knee. Quickly changing direction or quickly stopping, slowing down while running, incorrectly landing after a jump, or a direct collision can all cause an injury to the ACL. Often a pop can be felt or heard when the injury occurs, and the knee will usually become very swollen.
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL Injury): The LCL is the ligament that is located on the outer part of the knee joint and runs from the thigh bone to the top of the fibula and helps to stabilize the knee. This injury occurs as the result of a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament, and commonly happens because of an impact on the inner part of the knee or a bending force towards the outside of the knee and can be associated with injuries to other ligaments.
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury: The MCL is located on the inner part of the knee joint and runs from the thigh bone to the top of the shin bone and helps to stabilize the knee. An MCL injury can occur when the ligament stretches too far, partially tears, or completely tears. This injury commonly occurs as a result of an impact to the outer part of the knee, or a bending force towards the inside of the knee, and this injury can be associated with injuries to other ligaments.
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury: The PCL is the strongest ligament in the knee, stretching across the back of the knee and connecting the shinbone to the thigh bone to keep the knee stable. PCL injuries are less common than other knee injuries, and often occur in combination with cartilage injuries or bone bruises. This injury is graded on a scale of I, II, or III depending on its severity, and usually happens as the result of a direct impact such as an automobile accident or during sports when an athlete falls down with a bent knee. A PCL injury can be associated with other ligament injuries in the knee.

Treatment for injuries to knee ligaments may be non-surgical or surgical, depending on the extent of the injury. When you come to Southern Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our sports medicine team will examine your knee ligament injury in Mount Pleasant or Charleston and create a plan for treatment. Call us at (843) 936-0715 to schedule an appointment.