Knee ligament injuries are sprains or tears in one (isolated) or more (combined) of the four primary ligaments that connect the thighbone to the shin and calf bones. They’re most often caused by direct contact or changing direction quickly during sports or physical activity.
The knee has four main ligaments. Two cruciate ligaments, in the middle of the knee joint, are involved in and front-and-back movement. Two collateral ligaments, which run along the sides of the knee, are involved in sideways motion and stability. Sprains or tears can happen in any of these ligaments:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): runs along the front of the knee
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): runs along the back of the knee
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL): runs along the inside of the knee
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL): runs along the outside of the knee
Symptoms of a torn ACL, PCL, MCL, or LCL include pain, swelling, a popping sound during the injury, a loose feeling in the joint, and the inability to walk or stand. Damage ranges from a mild sprain to a complete tear, and can happen with other knee injuries, such as meniscus tears.
If you have moderate to severe knee pain due to a ligament injury, call an orthopaedic specialist at the University of Miami Health System. We offer appointments as soon as possible — often the same day or within 24 hours.
Why Choose UHealth?
The University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute. Our sports medicine experts help you get back to your optimal strength and performance quickly and safely following an injury. Whether you’re a professional or collegiate-level athlete recovering from an injury or someone who enjoys going for a jog a couple times a week, our world-renowned sports medicine specialists will help you get back in the game.