Causes and treatment of knee ligament injuries
Injuries in the knee ligaments like the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are very painful and debilitating. Ligaments are bonds of tissues that function in connecting the bones to the body. There two types of knee ligaments – anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). These ligaments function in connecting the femur or thigh bone with the tibia which is one of the bones of the inferior leg, but if too much stress is placed on these ligaments, it can cause them to stretch or even snap.
- Stopping suddenly when running
- Twisting of the knee with the foot planted
- Overextension of the knee
- Getting hit on the knee
- Suddenly shifting of weight from one leg to the other
- By jumping and landing on a flexed knee position
These types of injuries are common among soccer players, basketball players, football players as well as skiers and gymnasts.
Some knee ligaments that are prone to injuries include the following:
- Anterior cruciate ligament is the major ligament in the knee and connects the thigh bone to the shin bone in the knee.
- Posterior cruciate ligament connects the thigh bone to the shin bone of the knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament connects the thigh bone to the fibula which is the smaller bone found in the inferior part of the leg outside of the knee.
- Medial collateral ligament connects the thigh bone to the shin on the central side of the knee.
- There is loud popping sound or snapping during the injury
- Swelling and pain that can be severe and abrupt
- Feeling of looseness of the joints
- Inability of putting weight on the point without pain.
If these injuries are not treated at the time of the injury, they can make the knee give out when twisting or pivoting. By enrolling in a course on first aid today, you can readily manage this injury.
Treatment and home remedies
- Rest the knee by avoiding excess weight on the knee and the person may need to use crutches for some time.
- Icing the knee in order to reduce the pain and swelling for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days, until the area has no pain and swelling.
- Compress the knee by putting an elastic bandage to minimize the swelling.
- Elevate the knee on a cushion or pillow when sitting or lying down
- To steady the knee, wear a knee brace for protection from future injury.
- Provide the individual with an anti-inflammatory pain medication
- Perform exercises such as stretching
Prevention of knee ligament injuries
Knee ligament injuries are difficult to prevent if they are the result of accidents, but by taking some precautions can minimize the risk of having these injuries.
- Stretch the body before and after performing any physical activity.
- Keep the thigh muscles strong by performing a regular stretching and strengthening program.
- Do not suddenly increase the intensity of the workout but progress at a steady phase.