Ligament injuries in the knee — such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — can put you on the sidelines — fast. They hurt a lot and may limit what you can do. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. There are four ligaments in the knee that are prone to injury:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured knee ligament. It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) also links the thigh bone to the shin bone in the knee. (It’s rarely injured except in car accidents).
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) connects the thigh bone to the fibula, the smaller bone of the lower leg on the outer side of the knee.
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) links the thigh bone to the shin bone on the inside of the knee.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain, often sudden and severe.
- A loud pop or snap during the injury.
- Swelling within the first 24 hours after the injury.
- A feeling of looseness in the joint.
- Inability to put weight on the joint without pain.
- Compress your knee.
- Raise your knee.
- Knee brace.
- Nonsteroidal medication.
- Minimally invasive surgery.