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ACL & Meniscus

Learn more about knee ligament injury and torn meniscus causes, symptoms, and treatments

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Knee Ligament Injuries

  • Knee ligaments are the short bands of tough, flexible connective tissue that hold the knee together. Knee ligament injuries can be caused by trauma, such as a car accident. Or they can be caused by sports injuries. An example is a twisting knee injury in basketball or skiing.

    The knee has 4 major ligaments. Ligaments connect bones to each other. They give the joint stability and strength. The 4 knee ligaments connect the thighbone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). They are:

    • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament is in the center of the knee. It controls rotation and forward movement of the shin bone.
    • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). This ligament is in the back of the knee. It controls backward movement of the shin bone.
    • Medial collateral ligament (MCL). This ligament gives stability to the inner knee.
    • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL). This ligament gives stability to the outer knee.

Torn Meniscus

  • There are 3 bones in the knee. These are the femur, tibia, and patella. The ends of those bones are covered with cartilage. This is a smooth material that cushions the bone and allows the joint to move easily without pain. The cartilage acts as a shock absorber. Between the bones of the knees are 2 crescent-shaped disks of connective tissue, called menisci. These also act as shock absorbers to cushion the lower part of the leg from the weight of the rest of the body.

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