Knee Ligament Injuries

28 August, 2019
All athletes are afraid of suffering from knee injuries. Did you know that you can work to prevent knee ligament injuries?
 

Knee ligament injuries are a common reason for medical consultations. However, you may not have to worry about injuries if you exercise cautiously and pay attention to your technique. These types of injuries commonly occur in sports such as soccer and hockey. This is due to the abrupt movements and changes of pace that the sports require.

Anatomy of the knee

Firstly, you must understand the knee’s anatomy before understanding the possible injuries that may occur. Read along to learn about the different ligaments in the knee.

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

This ligament goes through the internal part of the joint. It prevents the tibia from hyperextending. The ACL is the most frequently injured ligament.

It’s not uncommon for ACL injuries to be associated with injuries of the internal lateral ligament and meniscus (the well-know ‘triad’). Injuries can occur due to sudden movements and changes in direction. They commonly occur in sports such as soccer and basketball.

Knee ligament

A posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)

Similar to the anterior cruciate ligament, this goes through the inside of the knee. LCP injuries are less common and less painful than ACL injuries. Posterior cruciate ligament injuries are usually a result of trauma.

 
Knee ligament injury

Lateral ligaments (LLI AND LLE)

The lateral ligaments are two ligaments that run along with the lateral faces of the knee joint. They are divided into the inner lateral ligament and the external lateral ligament.

These ligaments prevent sudden turns of the knee, both internally and externally. Lateral ligaments injuries are usually caused by sharp turns or trauma.

Lateral knee ligaments

Risk factors

The following are risk factors that can make us more likely to suffer from knee injuries:

  • Obesity is one of the main risk factors. When an obese person starts exercising, their joints are not accustomed to the stress and added weight. Therefore, these individuals should start practicing sports gradually.
  • Extreme sports. Disciplines such as soccer, hockey, basketball, and even paddle tennis all involve sudden changes in direction and pace which can cause ligament injuries.
 
  • Trauma. As we previously stated, sometimes these injuries are caused by trauma. Therefore, injuries could occur while playing contact sports.
Woman with knee pain

Prevention of knee ligament injuries

It’s best to prevent these types of injuries before they occur. The following are recommendations to help you take care of your knees:

  • Warming up is vital, it’ll effectively prepare your joints for a workout.
  • Stretching after each training session can help to eliminate toxins and metabolites. These otherwise accumulate in periarticular structures and promote inflammation. Stretching will also help your muscles relax after physical activity.
Woman stretching

  • It’s important to acquire knowledge of biomechanics and ergometry. Experts such as a physiotherapist can teach you how to perform exercises correctly. They can also teach you strengthening exercises to help prevent injuries.
 

Finally, if you’ve suffered from any of these injuries, consult your doctor. Discover which treatment method will be the most appropriate for you. In some cases, surgery may be required to alleviate any damage. In any case, it’s vital to place the emphasis on strengthening your joints and in turn, preventing injuries.

 

 

 

  • Forriol, F., Maestro, A., & J, V. M. (2008). El Ligamento cruzado anterior : morfología y función The anterior cruciate ligament : Morphology and function. Trauma Fundación MAPFRE19, 7–18.
  • Calzada, B. (2006). Biomecánica de la articulación de la rodilla tras lesiones ligamentosas. Revista Internacional de Metodos Mumericos Para Calculo y Diseño En Ingenieria22, 63–78. Retrieved from http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2004170
  • Jacquot, L., Selmi, T. A. S., Servien, E., & Neyret, P. (2012). Lesiones recientes de los ligamentos de la rodilla. EMC – Aparato Locomotor36(2), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1286-935x(03)72276-x
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