Ligament Injuries

Ligaments are fibrous tissues which act as a bridge between bones.  There are four main ligaments in the knee. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments pass through the sides of the joint and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are situated in the central part of the joint.  The patellofemoral ligament adjoins the patella to the femur.

Ligament injuries are common. They can occur by wear or can occur due to injuries to other structures, for e.g. the menisci.

Anterior and Posterior Cruciate Ligaments

These two ligaments cross each other in the central part of the knee joint. They restrict the knee from moving excessively forwards and backwards and provide rotational stability.

Injury to the cruciate ligaments is common during sporting activity and can result from abrupt movement, direct blow to the knee or landing awkwardly following a jump.

Surgery may not be required for elderly patients with a low-grade tear or low activity levels. Planned rehabilitation course for strengthening can provide enough stability.  Surgery is required for high-grade tears in people who perform strenuous and high-impact activities, especially athletes and sportsmen.

Ligament Injuries Treatment

It is possible to repair the ligament at times but in most of the cases the cruciate ligaments needs to be replaced with a graft.  The graft is usually taken from the patient’s hamstring, quadriceps tendons or patella.  It is possible to use grafts from a donor tissue. Your Surgeon will explain the benefits of each type of graft with you.

Procedures involving cruciate ligament are mostly arthroscopic procedures or keyhole surgery.  Your Consultant will take you through all the viable treatment options.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)

This ligament goes through the centre of the knee and forms one side of the joint. The MCL connects with the central part of the meniscus, thus any injury to the MCL is often associated with meniscal injuries.  The MCL is usually damaged during skiing or high-impact sports.

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

This ligament goes through the outer side of the knee and forms the other side of the joint. It is sometimes also termed as fibular collateral ligament. Unlike the MCL, it does not connect to the meniscus.  LCL injuries are less prevalent than MCL injuries.


Proper rest and cold compresses are advised within the first 48 hours following mild to moderate injury to the MCL and LCL.  If the knee does not settle during this period of time, physiotherapy is recommended as first line treatment.  If physiotherapy is not sufficient, then your physiotherapist can refer you to a consultant.


For any severe injury to the knee, contact a doctor as soon as possible who can arrange onward referrals.  You can visit our Urgent Care Centre seven days a week for any types of knee injury.  Our team will respond quickly and try to make an appointment on the same day.

You can contact our Unit Coordinator on 98450-54810 or email at [email protected] to book an early appointment.