• Clinical science

Knee ligament injuries


Knee ligament injuries are often the result of rotational movement of the knee joint (e.g., cutting and pivoting movements in sports). Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) result in knee pain and instability. Various maneuvers aid in demonstrating this knee instability and are usually sufficient for the diagnosis of collateral ligament tears. An MRI is the best confirmatory test for cruciate ligament tears. Isolated ligament injuries are usually treated conservatively, but surgery is recommended for complex injuries, severe knee instability, or patients with physically demanding occupations.

Anatomical overview

Anterior cruciate ligament injury

The anterior cruciate ligament is injured more commonly than the posterior cruciate ligament!


Posterior cruciate ligament injury


Collateral ligament injury

Medial collateral ligament injury

Lateral collateral ligament injury

  • Isolated LCL injury is very rare; it is usually associated with a tear of the anterior and/or posterior cruciate ligaments, as well as the posterolateral corner (PLC)
  • Mechanism of injury: varus stress with possible external rotation .
  • Clinical features
  • Diagnosis: An isolated LCL tear is a clinical diagnosis, but x-rays and MRI can be used to assess for associated injuries.
  • Treatment
    • Conservative treatment (including a functional brace) for isolated LCL tears
    • Surgery for PLC disruption

MCL injuries are more common than LCL injuries!References:[5][6][7][8]