Cruciate Ligament Injury – The Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention

November 12, 2012

Cruciate Ligament Injury - The Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention

A cruciate ligament injury basically happens when the knee’s cruciate ligament partly or completely tears or is stretched too much.

The Different Knee Ligaments

In general, there are four primary ligaments that connect in the knee, as follows:

  • The Medial Collateral Ligament

This ligament runs inside the knee and is responsible for preventing the knee from ever bending out.

  • The Lateral Collateral Ligament

This ligament runs outside the knee and is responsible for preventing the knee from ever bending in.

  • The Anterior Cruciate Ligament

This ligament can be found inside the knee and is responsible for preventing the bone in the shin from sliding onto the thigh bone.

  • The Posterior Cruciate Ligament

This ligament works in conjunction with the anterior cruciate ligament and is responsible for preventing the bone in the shin from sliding onto the femur.

The Injury Causes

A cruciate ligament injury could occur if the following happens:

  • Somebody hits your knee very hard, maybe while playing football

  • You overextended your knee joint

  • You stopped moving too quickly or suddenly changed direction while turning, running or landing Soccer, basketball, skiing and football are some common sports that are connected to cruciate ligament tears.

A lot of the time, cruciate ligament injuries happen along with other injuries, such as other knee ligament and cartilage tears.

The Different Injury Symptoms Earlier symptoms include:

  • A popping sound when the injury occurs

  • A swelling of the knee six hours or so from the injury

  • Pain, most of all when weight is placed on the leg that is injured People with mild injuries might notice their knee feeling unstable at times.

The Injury Treatments

If you think you have a cruciate ligament injury, you should see your doctor right away and avoid doing physical activities or playing sports until your problem has been successfully treated. After seeing your doctor, he might send your knee’s MRI to you to confirm his diagnosis. Some treatments for this kind of injury might include:

  • Placing ice on the affected area

  • Raising the leg above the heart level

  • Pain relievers like anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs

You might also need:

  • Surgery for ligament rebuilding

  • Crutches for walking until the pain and swelling subside

  • Physical therapy for leg strength and joint motion

A lot of people function quite well, even if they have a torn ligament. However, the majority of people will complain about the instability of their knees and how they give out during physical activities. Keep in mind that leaving a cruciate ligament injury untreated could result in more knee damage, though.

The Injury Preventions

Use the right techniques when exercising or playing sports. Fortunately, many college programs will teach athletes what to do in order to reduce stress on their knees and prevent a cruciate ligament injury at the same time.

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