ACL | MCL | PCL | LCL
Your knee has four major ligaments that help hold the joint together: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); posterior cruciate ligament (PCL); medial collateral ligament (MCL); and lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
These ligaments can become partially or completely torn through various accidents but are often associated with sporting injuries, falls, or car wrecks. This usually happens as a result of a sudden change of direction, deceleration while running, or blunt force to the knee.
There are three degrees of severity: grade I, grade II, and grade III. It is possible to avoid surgery with any grade, but for athletes and those who want more stability in the future, surgery may be recommended.
In an ACL, MCL, LCL, or PCL surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will either repair the torn ligament directly or will replace it completely with a tendon grafted from another part of the body or taken from a donor (cadaver). For ACLs in particular, traditional treatment consists of reconstructing the ligament with a graft but there is some newer literature suggesting certain tears may actually heal with a direct repair.
Talk to an orthopedic surgeon at OSI to get a full suite of options for treating damage to the ligaments in your knee.