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Knee Ligament Specialist

Joe Cooper, MD

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA & Brentwood, CA

Knee ligaments link your femur (thighbone) to your tibia (shin bone), so good ligament health is crucial to proper knee function. Talented orthopedic medicine specialist Joe Cooper, MD, offers his patients expert knee ligament care in the Los Angeles, California, area. Call the Beverly Hills or Brentwood office to arrange your consultation with Dr. Cooper, or click on the provided booking link now.

Knee Ligament Q & A

What is a knee ligament?

A knee ligament is a length of connective tissue that helps to stabilize your knee joint and guide proper movement. Your knee ligaments connect your thigh and shin bones.

Your knees have four main ligaments:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

The ACL, the most commonly injured knee ligament, is in the middle of your knee. It prevents your tibia from moving in front of your femur, and it also helps control knee rotation. 

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)

The PCL, also in the middle of your knee, crosses under the ACL. It controls the backward motion of your tibia.

Medial collateral ligament (MCL)

The MCL is in your inner knee, connecting your femur to the tibia. It stabilizes the inner knee and keeps your leg from moving too far inward. 

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)

The LCL ligament is in your outer knee, connecting the femur and fibula. It stabilizes your outer knee and prevents your leg from moving too far outward.

Because your ligaments are so vital for stability and function, a knee ligament injury can be quite serious.

What are the symptoms of a knee ligament injury?

Symptoms are fairly similar, but there are a few variations with the affected ligament. 

ACL injury symptoms

When you injure an ACL, you typically experience a loud pop at the moment of injury. Other common symptoms include immediate knee instability, severe pain, swelling, difficulty bearing weight, difficulty walking, knee buckling, and reduced range of motion. 

Many ACL injuries occur at the same time as meniscus tears. One sign of this is joint line tenderness.

PCL injury symptoms

PCL tears usually cause pain, swelling, difficulty bearing weight, and in severe cases, instability. Usually, PCL tears aren't as painful as ACL tears.

MCL injury symptoms

MCL tears can cause pain, stiffness, inner knee swelling, tenderness, and knee weakness. Severe tears can cause knee instability. MCL tears often occur along with ACL tears.

LCL injury symptoms

An LCL injury causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and bruising on the outer knee. LCL tears usually occur along with other ligament tears. 

Because the symptoms are similar with all knee ligament injuries, it's important to see Dr. Cooper to determine which specific ligament injury you have and how to treat it. 

How are knee ligament injuries treated?

Knee ligament injury treatment depends on the affected ligament, the grade of the tear, your age, your activity level, and other individual factors. For example, some people can live without a functional ACL, but most people need repair or reconstructive surgery to return to their same level of activity. 

Dr. Cooper is an extremely skilled and highly trained surgeon who performs masterful repairs of all knee ligaments. In most cases, Dr. Cooper uses minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, which requires very small punctures rather than long incisions. Arthroscopic ligament repair and reconstruction also causes less bleeding and pain and requires a shorter recovery. 

Book your ligament injury evaluation with an expert by calling Joe Cooper, MD, or you can click on the provided link now.