Knee Ligament Injury

Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic Surgeons & Hand and Upper Extremity located in Fredericksburg, TX & Boerne, TX

Your knee ligaments are made of remarkably strong and elastic tissue, but certain movements can still cause stretching and tearing. Many athletes experience knee ligament injuries, although it can happen to anybody who uses their normal knee function to get around. That’s where the Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine specialists come in. At their two offices in Fredericksburg and Boerne, Texas, the industry-leading orthopedic specialists offer the most advanced noninvasive and minimally invasive solutions for knee ligament injuries. Call the office in your area or use the online scheduler now.

Knee Ligament Injury Q & A

What is a knee ligament injury?

A knee ligament injury is any damage within the four ligaments in your knee. These include:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

Your ACL is in the middle of your knee, and it’s one of the most common areas of the knee to get injured. It regulates back-and-forth movement, prevents your lower leg from moving too far forward, and maintains stability during movements like cutting to the side.

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)

The PCL, also in the middle of the knee, crosses the ACL so the two ligaments form an "X." Your PCL prevents your lower leg from moving too far backward.

Medial collateral ligament (MCL)

The MCL lends inner knee stability and stops you from moving your leg too far inward.

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)

The LCL lends stability to the outer knee and prevents you from moving your leg too far outward.

Most knee ligament injuries affect the ACL, but you can damage any ligament, and may even injure two or more ligaments at the same time. 

How does a knee ligament injury occur?

Knee ligament injuries most commonly occur during physical activity, especially high-impact sports. Movements like sudden twisting, cutting sharply to the side, and sidestepping are all common ways to injure knee ligaments. 

Direct blows to the outer knee and landing very hard on a bent knee are other possible sources of knee ligament injury. You can also injure knee ligaments if you're never very active at all. For example, a trip-and-fall accident or auto accident could cause major knee ligament trauma.

What does a knee ligament injury feel like?

Symptoms of a knee ligament injury can vary with the particular ligament involved. The most common issues start immediately upon injury and include:

  • A popping sound as the injury happens
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Knee instability
  • Difficulty walking or bearing weight on your knee
  • Reduced range-of-motion

A PCL injury is less likely to cause severe symptoms than an ACL injury, although it can still be a very serious injury. MCL and LCL injuries are less common and often less severe, so they may cause less serious symptoms.

How is a knee ligament injury treated?

The Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine specialists evaluate your ligament injury carefully and design a customized treatment plan. Your personal needs and goals can play a big role in the chosen treatment plan. Some common approaches are:

  • Rest
  • Icing
  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modification
  • Ortho-biologics like stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections

In many cases, you can recover with conservative care and natural treatments. But if you have a severe ligament tear, you may need surgery. 

The Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine specialists always use the most conservative methods possible to help you get back on your feet. Call the office nearest you or click the provided link to book now.