Ligament injuries account for the majority of knee injuries that occur in the USA each year. Ligaments are the tough fibrous strands of tissue that secure the knee joint in place, like ropes that hold our bones together. While they are strong and flexible, they are at risk for injury especially during sports, athletics, strenuous activities, or accidents. Athletes who partake in quick movement sports that require pivoting and side-to-side motion, as well as those in direct contact sports such as football, are at a higher risk to injure their ligaments. Ligament injuries also occur during a trip and fall, during pivoting activities like dancing, or as a result of trauma.
There are two categories of ligaments in the human body:
Cruciate ligaments are found on the inside of the knee joint, and cross each other like an “X”. They essentially control the back and forth movement of the knee. In the back is the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and in the front is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Because ACL injuries are the most common among all ligament injuries, Dr. Lubowitz specializes in various treatment techniques for ACL reconstructions and is an expert in failed ACL reconstruction (revision) surgery. For additional information on ACL knee injuries, please refer to the extended ACL patient education resource section of this website. In addition, ACL injuries may be combined with other knee ligament injuries, and Dr. Lubowitz has extensive experience in the treatment of PCL, MCL, and LCL injuries.
The collateral ligaments are found on the outside of the knee joint. They consist of the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The collateral ligaments control the side-to-side motion o the knee joint.
Ligament injuries can be quite painful. The most common ways an individual can injure a knee ligament is by twisting their knee while the foot remains planted, jumping or landing incorrectly, quick pivoting, shifting, hyper-extending, or direct trauma to the knee. Each injury brings different symptoms depending upon the severity of the condition. Dr. Lubowitz will provide a complete examination and then decide if the ligament can heal without surgery, or if a reconstruction or repair is necessary.