Anterior cruciate ligament injury
ACL is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee. The injury is common during sports.
Twisting of the knee is a common cause of over-stretching or tearing the ACL. When the
ACL is injured one may hear a popping sound and the leg may suddenly give out. Besides
swelling and pain, walking may be painful and the knee will feel unstable. Minor tears
of the anterior cruciate ligament may heal over time, but a torn ACL requires surgery.
After surgery, recovery is prolonged and low impact exercises are recommended to
strengthen the joint.
Posterior cruciate ligament
The posterior cruciate ligament (or PCL) is one of the four major ligaments of the knee.
It connects the posterior intercondylar area of the tibia to the medial condyle of the
femur. This configuration allows the PCL to resist forces pushing the tibia posteriorly
relative to the femur.The PCL does not heal on its own, so surgery is usually required
in complete tears of the ligament. Surgery usually takes place after a few weeks, in
order to allow swelling to decrease and regular motion to return to the knee. A procedure
called ligament reconstruction is used to replace the torn PCL with a new ligament,
which is usually a graft taken from the hamstring or Achilles tendon from a host cadaver.
An arthroscope allows a complete evaluation of the entire knee joint, including the knee
cap (patella), the cartilage surfaces, the meniscus, the ligaments (ACL & PCL), and the
joint lining. Then, the new ligament is attached to the bone of the thigh and lower leg
with screws to hold it in place.