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Cruciate Ligaments

Cruciate Ligaments

The cruciate ligaments form an ‘X’ like shape inside your knee just behind the knee cap, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is at the front and the posterior cruciate ligament (PLC) is at the back of the knee. These ligaments control the movement of the knee and protect the bone from sliding out of place, it also provides the knee with rotational stability.

Most knee injuries occur when other structures of the knee are damaged such as, cartilage, meniscus or other ligaments. Injured ligaments are considered as sprains and are graded on the severity of the sprain;

Grade 1:  The ligament is mildly damaged, tissues have been slightly stretched but are still able to support the knee.

Grade 2: Ligaments have been stretched to the point of becoming loose. This is often referred to as a partial tear of the ligament.

Grade 3: Ligaments have completely torn, it has been split into two pieces and the knee is very unstable. 

What causes Cruciate ligament damage?

  • Quick change of direction
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Slowing down while running
  • Landing awkwardly from a jump
  • Direct contact or collision
  • Females are at a higher incidence of injuring ligaments when compared to males.

What are the symptoms?

  • Hearing a ‘pop’ when the ligament is first injured
  • Knee may five out from under you
  • Pain and swelling within 24hrs
  • Loss of full range of motion
  • Tenderness along the joint line
  • Discomfort while walking

How can cruciate ligament damage be diagnosed?

During the physical examination, all structures of the knee are examined and compared to the non-injured knee. There are specific tests that can be used to diagnose which ligament has been damaged, our sports therapists will grade the degree of the sprain and also which ligament has been injured. In some cases a MRI can be required.

How can we help?

It is important to ensure that treatment is delivered as soon as possible after the injury has occurred. This will allow the best recovery and help prevent the injury from reoccurring once the ligaments and surrounding structures have healed.

Our Sports therapy services offer:

  • Ice therapy
  • Soft tissue massage therapy
  • Ankle joint mobilisations
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Balance exercises
  • Aftercare advice

Sports therapy treatment can be very beneficial to those suffering from ligament sprains as it can help you to return to your original fitness levels in the quickest time possible. Here at Complete Chiropractic, our main aims are to:

  • Reduce swelling and pain
  • Regain and improve ankle range of movement
  • Improve strength
  • Speed up recovery time