What Is A Knee Ligament Repair?

Posted on: 5 February 2015


If you are experiencing pain around your knee area, it might be due to the ligaments. Ligaments are bands of elastic tissue that is around the joints in order to limit the joint's movements. There are multiple ligaments around your knee, any of which can cause you problems. If the ligaments are damaged, you may need to get a procedure called a knee ligament repair. This will improve mobility and reduce the discomfort you are experiencing.

Knee Ligaments

Before going into the procedure, you should become familiar with the different ligaments of the knee. You will be able to identify which ones are causing you problems by their location. The first is the anterior cruciate ligament. This ligament is a common cause of knee pain and knee ligament repairs. It is in the middle of the knee and allows your shin bone to move forward. Next is the posterior cruciate ligament, which is also in the center, though it lets your shin bone move backward.

Next is the medial collateral ligament, which provides stability for your inner knee. The lateral collateral ligament gives you stability for your outer knee. You may need knee ligament repair for one or more than one of these ligaments.

Determining if You Need Knee Ligament Repair

Most ligament problems in the knee are caused by trauma, such as from contact sports. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries often occur in sports like football and basketball, as well as skiing. It gets torn from twisting motions, which then requires the repair procedure. With the posterior cruciate ligament, you may need the repair if you experience a sudden impact, such as in a vehicle accident. Both the lateral collateral ligament and medial collateral ligament can be injured in a vehicle accident, during recreational activities, exercise, or while playing sports.

The Procedure

During the knee ligament procedure, the orthopedic surgeon will use a healthy piece of tendon and replace the damaged ligament with it. This tendon is usually taken from a healthy part of your body, like the hamstring or kneecap. It is then made into a graft in order to hold together the knee joint as a replacement ligament. You may also get a graft from an organ donor.

Risks Involved

There are some minor risks involved when you get a knee ligament repair, most of which are common of all surgeries. There is the risk of bleeding and infection, as well as blood clots in the lungs or legs. While under anesthesia, there are risks associated with that as well. Risks related to this procedure specifically include possible stiffness or knee laxity even after the procedure is complete. You should expect some swelling and discomfort after the procedure is done, until you begin to heal and gain back your mobility.