Adults can suffer from knee ligament injuries owing to wrong landing while jumping, due to a sudden change in direction or a direct hit to the knee. Moreover, muscle weakness or incoordination can also cause sprain or tear of the knee ligaments. Here, we brief you about the common Knee ligament injuries in adults, and how to tackle them. Do you know? The ligaments that are around the knee are strong. Ligaments are tight bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. But you will be shocked to know that sometimes they can become injured due to rigorous activities.
Everything you need to know about knee ligaments
Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bones and tend to provide stability and strength to the joint. There are four main ligaments in the knee that connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone). The primary knee ligaments include Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL).
Also Read: 6 Home Remedies to Treat Knee Pain
Causes behind knee ligament injuries
You may injure any of your knee ligaments because of a forceful hit to the knee, landing in the wrong form during a jump, a sharp change in direction while running or playing a sport. The ACL and MCL are the most common ligaments to get injured. They are stretched or torn owing to a twisting motion. Those who play football, basketball, kabaddi, badminton may suffer from contact or non-contact knee injuries.
Symptoms of knee ligament injuries
If you encounter sudden-severe pain and swelling, a loud pop or snap during injury and are unable to move the knee or put weight on it, then seek medical attention. Do not wait until your symptoms worsen. Knee ligament injuries can be diagnosed through X rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Counselling and discussion of final treatment are done after imaging, but immediate management does not have to wait.
Treatment by Dr Miten Sheth, Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon, The Knee Clinic
First aid includes ruling out any concomitant injuries more severe than those involving the knee. Rest and icing (at frequent intervals for short periods) is the key. A brace can help in immobilising the joint. Basic exercises can be beneficial even in the early phase. It is essential for swelling to reduce, strength and movements to be maintained despite the injury. Medicines also help in reducing acute inflammation. The healing period and final call on treatment will depend on the nature and severity of the damage. While most injuries can be managed conservatively, some may warrant key-hole (arthroscopic) surgery.
Pearls: It is essential to rest, exercise, recover entirely and get permission from the doctor before resuming any sports activity. Likewise, you must avoid overdoing any impact or bending activities once you have suffered from a knee injury. Do not self- medicate and take professional help before it’s too late.
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