Ligaments And Meniscus Injury: An Overview
Knee ligaments are bands of connective tissues that hold the femur, knee-cap, and shinbone together. Ligaments hold the knee cap sideways and centrally to provide knee stability.
The meniscus stabilises the ligaments. The meniscus is the rubbery cartilage between the femur and tibia that protects and cushions the knee joint from thrust.
Ligaments and meniscus shield the knee joint from excess damage, and their rupture or injury seeks immediate repair. If the ligament tear is minuscule, it can be restored with the conservative RICE method; however, if the damage is significant, it might need ligament or meniscus repair surgery.
Detailed Anatomy of Human Knee, Depicting ACL, PCL, and Meniscus
The human knee comprises three main parts: Femur(thighbone), Tibia(Shinbone), and Patella(knee cap). The ligaments are strong bands of connective tissues made of collagen that provide strength and flexibility to the knee joint to hold them together.
Also Read: Tendons And Ligaments
The ligaments are of two types, i.e
- Collateral or sideways, called Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and,
- Medial or central ligaments, called Anterior Cruciate (ACL), Posterior Cruciate (PCL). The anatomy of ACL and PCL are such that they are centrally located and cross over each other.
The meniscus protects medial ligaments, i.e. ACL and MCL, from Injury. Usually, when ACL and PCL completely tear off, injuries happen to the meniscus as well, requiring meniscus repair surgery.
Here is a comparison of ACL and PCL Injury
The ligaments are made of collagen and protein. These bands of strong connective tissues, apart from holding the knee joint strongly, also perform the following functions:
- Stabilize the knee
- Protect the knee from unnatural or unsafe knee movements
- Absorb shock when the feet strongly hits the ground.
- Helps in running and twisting movements.
- Keeps bones in proper shape and position
- Connects upper bone (femur) to lower bone(tibia)
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous articular disc that rests between the femur and tibia and provides the base or resting surface to bones. They also act as shock absorbers and lubricating agents to ease the full range of knee motions.
The meniscus can damage in the following ways(as shown in Fig.), requiring a meniscus repair surgery.
What Causes Injury To Knee Ligaments Or Meniscus?
Knee ligaments and meniscus injuries are common, especially in athletes. They get torn when:
- The knee joint flex in unnatural ways.
- Sudden, unnatural movement of the knee cap in a forwarding direction(In case of a car accident, called “dashboard injury”)
- When the knee is hyperextended and stretched too much.
- Excessive running
Also Read: Complete GUIDE To RUNNERS KNEE
How Are These Diagnosed?
The orthopaedic will start diagnosis by questioning when you felt pain or other symptoms and what is the current issue with your leg. The orthopaedic will physically examine the knee joint to see the knee’s response to touching different points. The doctor shall demand a screening test, such as an X-ray or MRI, to better see through knee joints and injuries.
What Are Treatments To Heal These Injuries?
Depending on the which grade of injury you had, for how long the symptoms persist, and how deep is the injury, the treatment is recommended. The treatment for ACL and PCL or meniscus includes
- RICE method: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
- NSAIDs, i.e. Non, steroidial anti-inflammatory drugs
- Assistive devices such as crutches to avoid direct weight on the knee joint.
- Immobilisation with braces
- Physical therapy
- ACL, MCL, PCL or meniscus repair surgery by a renowned orthopaedic surgeon.
Dr Rik Kundra, a highly qualified specialist knee surgeon in Dubai, has extensive experience in performing minimally invasive, bone preserving, and knee replacement surgeries for sports injuries, joint preservation, or joint replacements.
When and How Is The Ligament and Meniscus Repair Surgery Done?
There is some scope for ligaments or meniscus natural repair if the injury is partial. However, the orthopaedic will recommend surgery to repair the damage in case of complete ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL, or meniscus damage.
Typically, a complete ACL and PCL repair will require graft binding for reconstructing torn ligaments. In reconstruction, instead of sewing torn ligament, a donor graft ligament recovered from the elbow or ankle will be used to sew or reconstruct the torn ligament.
Non-operating approaches are rarely successful in treating meniscus tears, which usually happen simultaneously with a ligament tear. The meniscus repair is also done for meniscus degeneration due to ageing or arthritis and meniscus damage due to sports injury.
Dr Rik is an expert in ACL, PCL or meniscus repair and uses highly advanced and minimally invasive surgeries to get the best results. The arthroscopic and minimally invasive surgery allows him to better visualize the internal parts of the knee and perform precision ligament or meniscus repair surgery.
Here are some Google review written by our patient who has undrgone ACL, PCL and Meniscus Surgery.
Dr Rik is actively involved in major orthopaedic companies in developing and evaluating the latest surgical techniques. Seeking accurate advice at the right time can limit the advancement of a knee injury. Dr Rik highly focuses on sports preservation surgeries that also preserve the bones and postpone requirements of partial or total knee replacements.
So, for best results, choose the best knee specialist in Dubai, Dr Rik Kundra.
All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.