Ligaments are made up of elastic tissues that interconnect bones to one another. They bind the joint together providing stability and support to the joint. The ligaments protect the joint from abnormal movement and stabilize the joint during movement. When stretched beyond its limit, the ligament may partially or completely tear leading to ligament injury.
The most common ligament injuries occur in the knee. There are 4 ligaments that are susceptible to injury:
- The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is 1 of the 2 major ligaments in the knee. It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. ACL injuries are very common, with over 90,000 cases per year.
- The Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) is the second major ligament in the knee, connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone.
- The Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) connects the thigh bone to the fibula.
- The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) connects the thigh bone to the shin bone.
- Getting hit on the knee
- Twisting of the knee
- Extending the knee too much
- Landing on a flexed knee
- Stopping suddenly when running
- Pain, usually sudden and severe
- A popping or snapping noise during injury
- Joint looseness
- Inability to withstand weight