Knee ligaments are the bands of elastic tissue holding the knee together.
In each knee there are four main ligaments, these are the following:
The most common causes of a knee ligament tear are trauma such as a car accident and sports injuries. If non-invasive treatment is not a viable option to treat a torn knee ligament, the person will have to undergo surgery. Surgery to correct a torn knee ligament entails replacing the ligament with a piece of healthy tendon. It will be harvested from the kneecap or hamstring, for instance, and will subsequently be grafted to hold the knee joint together. The graft may come from the person themselves, in which case it is known as an autograft, or from an organ donor, in which case it is known as an allograft.
Usually, knee ligament repairs are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that the patient will not need to stay overnight in the hospital, as this is a relatively simple and low-risk surgery. The procedure may be performed while under general anesthesia or under spinal anesthesia, which will make your lower part of the body completely numb. After making several tiny incisions around the knee, the surgeon will use the arthroscope, a small tube-like instrument with a camera at the end that is inserted into the knee joint. It will allow the surgeon to clearly see the tear in your knee ligament and figure out the most effective way of repairing it.
Other medical instruments will be inserted into the knee joint during a ligament repair to reattach the torn ligament or reconstruct it by using a graft. After the knee ligament is repaired, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures and apply a sterile dressing over each of them. Recovery may take a long time. Depending on how severe and complex the tear was, you will be able to return gradually to your normal level of activity. You may have to use crutches and a knee immobilizer during your recovery.