What are knee ligaments?
There are four major ligaments in the knee. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and provide stability and strength to the joint. The four main ligaments in the knee connect the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), and include the following:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) - the ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia (shin bone).
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) - the ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls backward movement of the tibia (shin bone).
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) - the ligament that gives stability to the inner knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) - the ligament that gives stability to the outer knee.
What is a Meniscal Tear?
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped disk of cartilaginous tissue found in several joints in the body. The knee joint has two, and is held in place with ligaments. Their main function is to reduce friction during joint movement.
Meniscal tears are most commonly caused by twisting or hyperflexion of the joint. When a tear occurs there is usually a "pop" noted at the time of injury, followed by joint tenderness and knee pain. Recurrent locking of the knee is also a symptom. A physical examination, X-rays and MRI are tests can help to diagnose a meniscal tear.
Treatment may include ice, anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy. Surgery may be indicated for very active patients (sports injuries)