Knee Ligaments: ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL
A knee dislocation results when there is an injury to several knee ligaments at one time. The knee is made up of ligaments toward the front, back and each side. There are four major ligaments that hold the knee together. If one ligament begins to tear, this can be healed with bed rest, but multiple ligament tears are more complicated. Treatment and recovery after a knee dislocation depend on the individual ligaments.
The knees are composed of four main ligaments:
• ACL- Anterior Cruciate Ligament
• LCL- Lateral Collateral Ligament
• MCL- Medial Collateral Ligament
• PCL- Posterior Cruciate Ligament
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
Many athletes suffer from ACL tears. The ACL is the front ligament. The ligaments work in part with the muscles and bones that make the knees bend. Once the ACL rips, the knee may not carry any weight or pressure at all. ACL tears are often season ending injuries for athletes. Recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament will require weeks of rest and physical therapy sessions.
Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
Two of the knee ligaments are collateral, or toward the side of the knee joint. The lateral collateral ligament, or LCL, faces outward. The LCL may tear after a hard hit to the outside of the knee, but other ligaments are more likely to tear. When the LCL does rip, it will need serious treatment and reconstruction.
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
Like the LCL, the medial collateral ligament rests on the side of the knee. The MCL faces inward toward the opposite knee. So, due to its placement, the MCL is subject to more tears and injuries. However, the MCL has a quick turnaround. MCL injuries can heal naturally if a person rests the knee and follows a suggested recovery plan.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
The fourth ligament and the ligament that is toward the back of the knee is the posterior cruciate ligament. The cruciate ligaments like the ACL and PCL cross over one another. The PCL lies toward the back of the knee and it can tear whenever the joint improperly bends.
If two or more knee ligaments tear, this is a knee dislocation. Knee dislocations have some major causes like car accidents, great falls or serious sports injuries. Ligaments can possibly heal on their own, but multi-ligament tears will need medical assistance if a person wants to fully heal from this knee disorder.