Knee ligament injuries

Ligaments connect one bone to another and provide stability to the knee by limiting the amount of movement in certain directions.  There are two main groups of ligaments and four major ligaments of the knee in total.

Collateral Ligaments

Medial and Lateral (MCL & LCL) these ligaments run down the inside and outside of the knee and provide sideways stability

Cruciate ligaments

Anterior or Posterior (ACL & PCL) these ligaments cross inside the knee joint and provide stability of the joint, from moving forwards and backwards
Knee pain related to ligament injury is usually directly related to trauma e.g. sports injury, accident.  Pain is more likely to be very sudden in onset, so if the pain has gradually developed, it is very unlikely to a ligament related condition.

How do I prevent a ligament injury?

As ligament injuries are usually caused by sports injury or accidents prevention is difficult although the following may help;

  • Warm up before exercise or intense activity
  • Maintain a good level of general fitness through stretching and strengthening the muscles around the knee joint (see lower limb strengthening and stretching video)
  • Wear footwear appropriate to the activities you are doing and replace when showing sign of wear and tear