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Knee Ligaments and Common Injuries to the Knee

Written by Nancy

The knee is one of the largest, most complex, and most vital joints in the body. It is made up of several tissues, muscles, and ligaments, along with the main joint bone.


The ligaments are short bands of tough fibres that connect and hold together the bones and cartilages. The ligaments function as a support structure for the joint and provide stability to it.

Unfortunately, the knee and the ligaments are also quite prone to injuries, especially among athletes. Each year, close to a quarter of a million knee ligament injuries are reported in Canada and the US. Some of the most common knee ligament injuries include:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

The ACL is one of the primary ligaments in the knee. ACL sprains or tears usually occur among athletes who take part in demanding sports such as football, soccer and basketball.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a person can require surgery to regain the full functionality of the knee joint.

PCL – Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The posterior cruciate ligament is stronger and larger than the ACL, and is located behind it. It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone, and is only injured due to severe trauma to the knee.

A strong blow while bending during tough sports such as football or activities such as hiking and skiing can cause the PCL to get damaged.


MCL – Medial Collateral Ligament Tear

The medial collateral ligament runs along the inner edge of the knee and keeps the knee stable. Over-extending or bending the knee too far can stretch out the MCL far enough to cause a strain or a tear.

High-impact sports such as hockey and football often involve athletes bumping into each other with excessive force, resulting in injuries to the MCL.

LCL – Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain

The LCL runs along the outside edge of the knee and helps hold the bones together. It also allows the joint to remain stable while moving.

A sharp blow to the inside of the knee, especially while moving, can impact the ligament and make it stretch more than it should.

This causes the LCL to sprain, and in some cases can even cause a tear in the ligament.

Get In Touch with Sport Injury Experts at SEMI

Experiencing pain or weakness in your leg and knee?

Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute is a leading sports medicine and physical therapy clinic. They offer the services of the top sports injury specialists and physiotherapists in the country.

Along with expert diagnoses and assessments of the musculoskeletal structure they also provide customized treatment plans as well as comprehensive patient education to aid their performance.

Their services also include custom orthotics, back and neck pain treatment, sports podiatry services, sports massage therapy, sports psychology and much more!

Contact them today to schedule an appointment!

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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