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Combined knee ligament injuries

Extensive coverage for all musculoskeletal problems

The knee is the largest joint in your body and one of the most complex. It is also vital for movement.

Your knee ligaments connect your thigh bone to your lower leg bones. Knee ligament sprains or tears are a common sports injury.

In the past, injuring more than one knee ligament would put an end to future sports activities. Today, many athletes are able to return to high level sports following multiple ligament injuries.

The knee is made up of four main things: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

Combined knee ligament injuries

  The main Knee ligaments

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The knee is the largest joint in the human body, and it is a complex joint.

Three bones meet to form the knee joint: the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella).

These bones are connected to each other by the ligaments. The four ligaments are:

  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) – On the inside of the knee, controlling sideways motion.

  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) – On the outside of the knee, controlling sideways motion.

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – In the front of the knee, controlling forward motion.

  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) – In the back of the knee, controlling backward motion.

Causes of combined Knee ligament injuries

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most common ligament to be injured. The ACL is often stretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion (when the feet stay planted one way, but the knees turn the other way). Skiing, basketball, and football are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries.

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is also a common ligament to become injured in the knee. However, the PCL injury usually occurs with sudden, direct impact, such as in a car accident or during a football tackle.

The medial collateral ligament is injured more often than the lateral collateral ligament. Stretch and tear injuries to the collateral ligaments are usually caused by a blow to the outer side of the knee, such as when playing hockey or football.


Diagnosing combined knee ligament injuries

When you see the doctor, he will ask questions about your injury, conduct a medical history, do an examination, and run some tests. X-rays are used to assess bone structures, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are used to assess ligament tears and injuries.

Arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube (arthroscope) that is inserted through a small incision in the joint.

Combined knee ligament injuries

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Treatment of  Combined knee ligament injuries

Combined knee ligament injuries

Depending on the severity of the damage, an orthopedic surgeon may need to evaluate and treat the knee. Surgery for combined ligament tears is performed right away. Repair requires a reconstruction with either an autograft or allograft tissue.

Most top orthopedic surgeons choose to use the arthroscopic technique, which uses a tiny camera and smaller incisions. Grafts are often required to construct new ligaments. Grafts are held in place with washers, screws, and pins.

After multi-ligament knee reconstruction, the patient must wear a brace for several weeks and avoid weight-bearing. The healing process can take around 6-8 weeks. During this time, a physical therapist works with the patient to increase leg and knee joint strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

Specific treatment for a knee ligament injury will be determined by your physician based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the injury
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
  • Expectation for the course of the injury
  • Your opinion or preference
Combined knee ligament injuries

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