Knee ligament sprains or tears are a common sports injury. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. Your anterior cruciate ligment( ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), connect your thigh bone to the bones of the lower leg. Too much stress on these ligaments can cause them to stretch too far, or even snap.
There are four ligaments in the knee. In addition to the two described above, the lateral and medial collateral ligaments connect the thigh bone to the bones of the lower leg. Ligament injuries can be caused by twisting your knee while your foot is planted, hyperextending your knee or by a severe blow to the knee. In addition, jumping and landing on a flexed knee or stopping suddenly when running may also cause a ligament injury These injuries are common in sports such as soccer, football, basketball, gymnastics and skiing where planting of a foot and rapid change of direction are often required.
Surprisingly, a cruciate ligament injury does not always cause pain. Instead, the person may hear a popping sound as the injury occurs, followed by the leg buckling when trying to stand on it, and swelling.
An injury to the collateral ligament causes the knee to pop and buckle, causing pain and swelling. knee. With any ligament injury, you may have difficulty moving your knee and walking. Typically, within a few hours the swelling in the knee increases dramatically.
What therapy can do for you
Depending on the severity of the ligament sprain and which ligament is affected, surgery may or may not be required. Physical therapists regularly work with patients with mild sprains and those who have had a surgical repair. Physical therapy and rehabilitation helps to restore knee function for those do not undergo surgery, as well as post-operatively for those who do.
HealthReach physical therapists will establish a treatment program based on your specific injury. Special emphasis is placed on strengthening the muscles that support the knee, decreasing swelling and pain, and progressing you safely to return to your sport or leisure/work activities.