The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a band of tissue that connects the tibia to the femur through the center of the knee joint. As one of the most common knee injuries, the ACL can become damaged or torn when the body rotates while the foot stays planted. The injury does not necessarily require contact and, in fact, can happen simply by pivoting or planting the foot in a certain way.
Because the ACL is such an important component of knee stabilization, reconstructive surgery is often recommended, especially for athletes who want to continue playing sports.
The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, is another one of the four ligaments that create stability in the knee. This connective tissue runs along the inner side of the knee joint and, therefore, is most frequently damaged by a blow from the side. MCL tears can also result from a poor landing or
The meniscus is a cartilaginous tissue that disperses friction and provides cushioning between the tibia and femur. There are actually two menisci in the knee joint that work together to disperse body weight and reduce friction as the knee straightens and bends.
A meniscus can experience an acute tear from impact or from
For athletes, the damaging of all three of these important tissues in a single injury is not uncommon. The treatments for these injuries vary depending on factors such as severity, the patient’s age, activity levels, and so on. When surgery is prescribed, it might include:
- Repairing damaged tissue
- Replacing damaged tissue
- Removal of torn cartilage
- Arthroscopic procedures
Regardless of the reasons for knee surgery and the procedures used, the recovery pathway is similar in most cases.