Knee Ligament Injuries Treatment | Total Orthopaedics (2022)

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What are Knee Ligament Injuries?

The Knee has many supporting ligaments surrounding the joint that is important for movement and is at risk of injury when playing sports.

Knee Ligament Injuries are pulls, tears or strains of the:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
  • And/or Multiple Ligaments

What causes Knee Ligament Injuries?

Sport injuries and accidents are common causes of Knee Ligament Injuries.

Twisting, jumping, leg rotation using poor techniques or where contact is made can cause partial or full thickness tears in the surrounding ligaments. The type of movement that took place when the injury occurred will signify the location of the ligament injury.

Symptoms range from a noise heard from the knee when injured, pain, inability to weight bear and instability in the joint, swelling and bruising.

How are Knee Ligament Injuries diagnosed?

Consultation, X-rays and MRI will also be needed for a diagnosis.

Treatment and recovery

Conservative management is considered when the ligaments have been injured however will heal without surgery. Our knee team will assess with medical examination to identify the range of movement to consider non-operative treatment. Initial recovery phase advised is rest, ice, compression and elevation to help reduce the swelling and pain. Physiotherapy will be needed to improve movement and strength of the knee. Recovery period can range between 6-12 weeks.

Surgery – All knee ligament repairs are usually performed as a knee arthroscopy. This procedure involves small incisions to insert a telescope and long instruments into the knee joint which reduces risk of infection and recovery time. During a knee arthroscopy, the torn ligaments are assessed, repaired and damaged tissue or debris is removed from the joint. Recovery period ranges between patients and complexity of the surgery, however most arthroscopic surgery can be a day case procedure. Physiotherapy is also part of the recovery and patients are usually weight bearing at 6 weeks, 12 weeks back to usual activity and at 6 months playing sports again.

ACL reconstruction involves arthroscopic techniques and a graft to reconstruct the torn ligament. This graft may be taken from the patient’s tendon either from the hamstring or kneecap (autograft) or donated from another person’s tissue (allograft). Small incisions are made to access, remove and replace the torn ligament with the graft. Recovery with this procedure is gradual for those wishing to play sport again. Physiotherapy rehabilitation plays and important role to assess and improve range of motion for the joint and strengthen the surrounding muscles to support the knee. Patients should be weight bearing from 2-4 weeks, returning to normal daily duties and light exercise between 3-6 months. For contact sports recovery may take longer, however our knee team and allied physiotherapists will advise on your progress.

Other Conditions

  • Arthritis of the Hip
  • Arthritis of the Knee
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hip Fracture
  • Knee Instability and Dislocations
  • Knee Ligament Injuries
  • Labral Tears of the Hip
  • Meniscal Tear
  • Trochanteric Bursitis of the Hip
(Video) Knee Ligament Injuries | Orthopaedic Surgery Tutorials | Clinical V-Learning™ | sqadia.com

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Meet Your Consultants

Knee Ligament Injuries Treatment | Total Orthopaedics (2)

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Mr Harold Nwaboku

Consultant Hip & Knee Surgeon

Mr Nwaboku is a specialist in treating patients with problems of the hip and the knee joints including arthritis, knee ligament and meniscus injuries. Mr Nwaboku performs traditional and revision hip and knee replacements. He takes great importance in listening to his patients before recommending a treatment plan.

Conditions Treated

Knee Conditions:
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Knee
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
Knee Pain
Meniscus tears
Sports Injuries of the Knee
Knee Arthritis
Knee Osteoarthritis

Hip Conditions:
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Hip
Bone Marrow Oedema
Groin Pain
Hip Impingement
Hip Pain
Hip Fractures
Labral Tear
Ligament Injuries
Tendon Injuries
Sports Injuries of the Hip

Procedures Performed

Knee Procedures:
Total Knee Replacement
Custom Knee Replacement
Knee Revision Surgery
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction
Knee Arthroscopy
Core Decompression of the Knee
Fixation of Fractures Around the Knee
Orthobiological Joint Injections
Steroid Joint Injections
Patellafemoral (Knee Cap) Stabilisation
Patellafemoral (Knee Cap) Replacements
Meniscal Repair

Hip Procedures:
Total Hip Replacement
Custom Hip Replacement
Hip Revision Surgery
Core Decompression of the Hip
Orthobiological Joint Injections
Femoroacetabular Impingement

(Video) THE ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT (ACL) TREATMENTS

Professional Memberships

British Medical Association (BMA)
British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)
Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
General Medical Council (GMC)
Alliance Medical Indemnity (AMI)

Languages

English

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Mr Joyti Saksena

Consultant Hip, Knee & Sports Surgeon

Mr Joyti Saksena has a keen interest in joint preservation surgery of the hip and knee, and undertakes procedures to try and prevent the need for joint replacement particularly in the younger patient. He performs keyhole (arthroscopic) knee surgery and soft tissue knee reconstruction including ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and MPFL (Medial Patella-Femoral Ligament) reconstruction. He also specialises in the management of infected joint replacements.

Conditions Treated

Knee Conditions:
Knee Arthritis
Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee Pain
Knee Cyst
Knee Cap (Patella) Instability

Hip Conditions:
Hip Arthritis
Hip Osteoarthritis
Hip Pain
Hip Impingement
Hip Dysplasia
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) Hip
Groin Pain

Sports Injuries:
ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Tears and Injuries
PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) Tears and Injuries
Tendon Injuries
Knee Injuries
Hip Injuries
Meniscal Tears
Stress Fractures

Procedures Performed

Knee Procedures:
Total Knee Replacement
Custom Knee Replacement
Knee Preservation Surgery
Partial Knee Replacement
Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery
Cartilage Regenerative Surgery
Knee Revision Surgery
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Repair
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Repair
Knee Arthroscopy
Patella (Knee Cap) Stabilisation
Orthobiological Joint Injections
Meniscal Repair
Fracture Fixation Surgery
Patellofemoral Joint Replacement

Hip Procedures:
Total Hip Replacement
Custom Hip Replacement
Partial Hip Replacement
Hip Arthroscopy
Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery
Hip Revision Surgery
Dual-mobility Hip Replacement

Professional Memberships

British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)
British Hip Society (BHS)
British Orthopaedic Society of Trauma and Arthoscopy Association (BOSTAA)
General Medical Council (GMC)
Medical Defence Union (MDU)

Languages

English
Gujarati
Punjabi
Urdu

Awards

(Video) Torn ACL Knee Ligament

Clinical Excellence Award 2014

Nominated for Trainer of the Year in 2015 - Royal London

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Mr Simon Mellor

Consultant Hip & Knee Surgeon

Mr Simon Mellor is the Lead for the Hip and Knee Unit at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and he has worked in Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery since 1996. He is one of the UK’s most prominent Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Surgeons, having utilised this muscle-sparing technique for hip replacements since 2012.

Conditions Treated

Knee Conditions:
Knee Arthritis
Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee Pain
ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injuries
PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) Injuries
Meniscal Tears
Stress Fractures
Knee Cyst
Knee Cap (Patella) Pain
Knee Cap (Patella) Instability
Knee Cap (Patella) Dislocation
Meniscal Root Injuries
Painful Knee Replacements
Multi-ligament Injuries

Hip Conditions:
Hip Arthritis
Hip Osteoarthritis
Hip Pain
Hip Dysplasia
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) Hip
Groin Pain
Painful Hip Replacements
Hip Inflammation
Hamstring Injuries including Hamstring Detachment (Avulsion)

Procedures Performed

Knee Procedures:
Total Knee Replacement
Partial Knee Replacement
Revision Knee Surgery
Custom Knee Replacement
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Reconstruction
Multi-ligament Knee Surgery
Knee Preservation Surgery
Knee Osteotomy
Knee Arthroscopy (Keyhole Surgery)
Knee Cap (Patella) Stabilisation
Knee Cap (Patella) Realignment
Meniscal Repair
Fracture Surgery
Joint Injections
Orthobiological Joint Injections

Hip Procedures:
Anterior Approach Hip Replacement
Total Hip Replacement
Revision Hip Surgery
Custom Hip Replacement
Hamstring Reattachment
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
Orthobiological Joint Injections
Joint Injections
Fracture Surgery

Professional Memberships

British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)
British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK)
The International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS)
General Medical Council (GMC)
Medical Defence Union (MDU)

Languages

English
French

Awards

Clinical Excellence Award in 2011
Orthopaedic Trainer of the Year 2019 – University College London (UCL) Rotation

Book Consultation

What Our Patients Say

(Video) Future of Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) Tear Surgery - Essentials of Clinical Orthopedics

“You have given me back my life”

"Many thanks to you and your team for the care and attention given to me before, during and after my recent knee replacement. You have given me back my life and for that I shall always be grateful. Thank you so much!"

M.W. Oct 2020

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“I'm managing 10 mile walks regularly”

"I wanted to write a quick note to say thank you for the surgery last year, it is nearly a year past the operation date. Walking is our only escape currently and I'm managing 10 mile walks regularly. The scar is barely visible, a huge success - thank you again."

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“From my first visit, I liked and trusted him. He was so caring, kind and respectful - and explained things in details. On the day of my operation I had a few fears but they were allayed very quickly. Thank you again."

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(Video) Knee injury ,Injuries - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

FAQs

Do all knee ligament tears need surgery? ›

While complete ACL tears almost always require surgery, partial ACL tears may be treated effectively with nonsurgical methods. ACL tears are graded by severity and are called sprains (a sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament). A grade 1 ACL sprain occurs when your ACL is overstretched, but not torn.

How do you treat a torn knee ligament without surgery? ›

But full ACL tears cannot be healed without surgery. If your activities do not involve making pivoting movements on the knee, physical therapy rehabilitation may be all you need. Special exercises may help train the musculature around the knee to compensate for the torn ACL and stabilize the joint.

How long do damaged knee ligaments take to heal? ›

After a stretch injury (sprain) or partial tear to the MCL, the ligament has completely healed in most people after three months. If there is a complete tear, recovery may take a little longer but most people are back to their usual activities after 6-9 months.

What helps ligaments heal faster? ›

5 Treatment Solutions for Your Ligament Injury
  • Rest. The generally accepted wisdom on how to initially treat a ligament injury can be summed up in one acronym: RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. ...
  • Reduce Swelling. ...
  • Ligament Injections. ...
  • PRP Therapy. ...
  • Balance Training.

Does an MRI show ligament damage? ›

An MRI offers excellent contrast resolution for bones and soft tissues.” Torn or detached ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage, such as: Meniscal tears.

What are the 4 major knee ligaments? ›

They are:
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament is in the center of the knee. ...
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). This ligament is in the back of the knee. ...
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL). This ligament gives stability to the inner knee.
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL).

Can a Grade 3 ligament tear heal on its own? ›

A grade 1 MCL tear (minor tear) can usually heal on its own with rest within one to three weeks. Grade 2 and grade 3 MCL tears, which are more severe, need proper treatment in order to heal, which can include resting, wearing a knee brace and doing physical therapy.

How serious is ligament tear? ›

“A torn ligament is considered a severe sprain that will cause pain, inflammation, bruising and result in ankle instability, often making it difficult and painful to walk. Recovery from a torn ligament may take several weeks, and should be done under the supervision of a health care provider.”

Can ligaments be repaired without surgery? ›

Grade 1 and 2 ligament injuries can heal without surgical intervention. Doctors will use a combination of bracing, physical therapy, heat therapy, and medication to help with healing. The ligament responds well to these methods with a high overall success rate.

Can you walk on a torn knee ligament? ›

In most cases, the injured person can still walk with the torn knee ligament. But the movement will be severely limited, not to mention painful. Surgery may be the best route to a pain-free life, with amazing success rates. If someone suspects a damaged ACL or MCL seek immediate medical attention.

Why do ligaments heal slowly? ›

Ligaments attach bones to other bones. They generally have a more limited blood supply than either muscle or tendon – lengthening their healing time.

Can ligament heal itself? ›

While a torn ligament can heal on its own over time, it is best to seek out medical attention to ensure that the affected area heals correctly without a lot of excessive scarring.

Do ligaments grow back? ›

Regeneration of ligaments and tendons is a slow process, compared with the healing of other connective tissues (e.g., bone). Healing starts from the surrounding soft tissues ("extrinsic healing"), but also from the ligament or tendon itself ("intrinsic healing").

Is heat good for ligament damage? ›

Heat is beneficial in increasing muscle and ligament flexibility and may help reduce athletic injuries, but cold treatment may have the opposite effect.

What vitamins help ligaments heal? ›

Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for cell division, collagen renewal, tissue repair, and vision. This vitamin increases the elasticity of collagen, maintaining strength of tendons and ligaments. Good Sources of Vitamin A: eggs, fatty fish, leafy greens, yellow and orange vegetables.

What vitamins help torn ligaments? ›

These studies and an October 2012 review in the_ Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery_ reported that vitamins C and D, along with vitamin E, can help reduce inflammation in ligaments. This can help with pain management and also accelerate the healing process.

What test will show torn ligaments? ›

Imaging Tests

Our doctors often use ultrasound to diagnose muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries because the imaging test can produce clearer picture of soft tissues. Doctors use MRI scan to examine the ligaments to determine the extent of a knee injury.

Which is better Xray or MRI? ›

X-rays are more rapidly accessible than MRI images and may be used to quickly diagnose injuries and masses inside the body. MRIs may offer clearer, more detailed images of tissues and organs, such as the brain.

Can an xray show ligament damage? ›

X-rays do NOT show tendons, ligaments, nerves, cartilage or blood vessels. X-rays typically show bones and joints, and may, at times, show the absence of skin (e.g. infection).

Can knee ligament tear heal itself? ›

A mild to moderate knee ligament injury may heal on its own, in time. To speed the healing, you can: Rest the knee. Avoid putting much weight on your knee if it's painful to do so.

What are 5 symptoms of a knee injury? ›

Symptoms
  • Swelling and stiffness.
  • Redness and warmth to the touch.
  • Weakness or instability.
  • Popping or crunching noises.
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee.
11 May 2021

Do ligaments heal stronger? ›

Earlier tension across a muscle, ligament, or tendon wound orients the healing fibers and results in stronger healing.

Is plaster required for ligament tear? ›

This means wearing a brace or a plaster cast for 10 days or so. In some cases, if ligaments are very badly torn or the joint is too unstable, surgery may be advised. Your doctor will assess if this is necessary (but it is not needed in most cases).

What is a grade 2 ligament tear? ›

With a grade 2 sprain, your ligament is partially torn. The incomplete tear causes bruising (due to bleeding beneath the skin), swelling, and moderate pain. The joint remains fairly stable, but the affected area is tender to the touch.

What foods help injury recovery? ›

Here are 10 healing foods that can help your body recover.
  • Leafy green vegetables. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Salmon. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Nuts and seeds. ...
  • Poultry. ...
  • Organ meats. ...
  • Cruciferous vegetables.
11 Apr 2022

What is the most commonly injured ligament? ›

The most common type of ligament injury is called a gamekeepers thumb. Gamekeepers thumb is a tear of the ligament between the base of the thumb and the wrist bones.

How long should a torn ligament hurt? ›

Mild ligament sprains can take from two to four weeks to heal, and moderate sprains may take more than 10 weeks. The healing time increases from six months to a year if surgery is needed.

How do doctors repair torn ligaments? ›

Repairing Torn or Damaged Ligaments Through Surgery

In some cases, ligaments can be tightened and strengthened again by placing them back onto the bone in their anatomic position, possibly using a small anchor to attach the ligaments into the bone.

Can I live without ACL surgery? ›

It is possible to go through life without an ACL. Eventually, scar tissue builds and will contribute to some knee stability. However, it is not the same stability that an ACL provides. Whether or not you are a physically active individual or casually active, it is possible to maintain your quality of life successfully.

How long does a grade 3 ligament tear take to heal? ›

Grade 3 injuries are more severe in nature and often involve full tearing of the ligament and possible bone fracture. The length of time to recover from grade 3 ankle sprains could be 3 months or more.

How painful is an ACL tear? ›

When the ACL is torn and the signature loud “pop” is heard, intense pain follows and, within an hour, swelling occurs. Moderate-to-severe pain is very common. Initially, the pain is sharp and then becomes more of an ache or throbbing sensation as the knee swells.

Is walking good for ACL recovery? ›

It's important to start walking within a day or two after ACL surgery, but only a little. Walking for a minute or two can help reduce swelling, but you shouldn't walk any more than that. After two weeks, you can start walking around unassisted without crutches for short periods of time.

What does a torn ligament feel like in your knee? ›

Collateral ligament injury

Often you will have pain at the sides of the knee and swelling over the injury site. If it is an MCL injury, the pain is on the inside of the knee. An LCL injury may cause pain on the outside of the knee. The knee will also feel unstable, like it is going to give way.

Which is worse a tendon or ligament tear? ›

Because tendons have better blood supply than ligaments, tendon injuries tend to heal faster than ligament injuries of comparable severity. Both ligament tears and tendon tears are serious conditions that can cause intense pain and irreversible impairment if left untreated.

Does protein heal ligaments? ›

Protein makes up the bulk of your tendons and ligaments. It is the building block of all new collagen and elastin needed for ligament, tendon and muscle repair. Protein is going to help you rebuild that torn a ligament. How quickly and how well your injuries heal can be aided by your protein intake.

How do you increase blood flow to the knee ligaments? ›

M.E.A.T. increases the flow of blood to injured areas in order to enhance the healing process. Soft tissue structures such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage don't get a lot of blood supply to begin with, so reducing blood flow with R.I.C.E. will prolong the healing process.

Can ligaments get stronger? ›

Paulos explains: “As you exercise and stress the joint, the ligament will respond to being stretched. And the more it's stretched, the more it will respond by laying down cells and collagen, making it stronger.” “when you strengthen a ligament, you actually add to its blood supply.

Why is my knee not healing? ›

If you notice your knee injury isn't healing, it could be because you misjudged the severity or you simply didn't give it enough time and rest. Moderate soft-tissue injuries generally need a minimum of two weeks to heal, and returning too soon from a knee injury can actually cause more pain and tissue damage.

What are the 3 types of injury? ›

Acute, Overuse, and Chronic.

Is surgery the only option for ACL tear? ›

Minor tears can be treated with non-surgical treatment. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation can help reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles in the legs and bring stability to the knee while compensating for the torn ACL.

Can knee ligaments heal on their own? ›

A mild to moderate knee ligament injury may heal on its own, in time. To speed the healing, you can: Rest the knee. Avoid putting much weight on your knee if it's painful to do so.

Can you walk with a torn ligament in your knee? ›

In most cases, the injured person can still walk with the torn knee ligament. But the movement will be severely limited, not to mention painful. Surgery may be the best route to a pain-free life, with amazing success rates. If someone suspects a damaged ACL or MCL seek immediate medical attention.

How do you know if knee ligament is torn? ›

How is a knee ligament injury diagnosed?
  1. X-ray. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film to rule out an injury to bone instead of, or in addition to, a ligament injury.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). ...
  3. Arthroscopy.

How do I know if I tore a ligament in my knee? ›

What are the symptoms of an injured knee ligament?
  1. Pain — although some cruciate ligament tears don't involve pain, ligament pain can also be sudden and severe.
  2. Swelling — within 24hours after the injury.
  3. Trouble putting weight on your knee — or pain when you do.
  4. A loose or unstable feeling within the joint.
23 May 2022

Do ligaments ever fully heal? ›

Beware the fully torn ligament

Complete tears rarely heal naturally. Since there's a disconnect between the tissue and any chance of blood supply, surgery is needed. Surgery also helps the joint heal correctly and reduces the chances of re-injury.

What vitamins are good for ligament repair? ›

Vitamin C: Tendons and ligaments also need vitamin C, a nutrient found in many vegetables and fruits, because both tissues contain large amounts of collagen. Vitamin C plays an essential role in new collagen production, and a Vitamin C deficiency can weaken your tendons and ligaments by preventing collagen synthesis.

Does ligament damage show up on xray? ›

X-rays do NOT show tendons, ligaments, nerves, cartilage or blood vessels. X-rays typically show bones and joints, and may, at times, show the absence of skin (e.g. infection).

What are 5 symptoms of a knee injury? ›

Symptoms
  • Swelling and stiffness.
  • Redness and warmth to the touch.
  • Weakness or instability.
  • Popping or crunching noises.
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee.
11 May 2021

How long does a ligament take to heal? ›

Mild ligament sprains can take from two to four weeks to heal, and moderate sprains may take more than 10 weeks. The healing time increases from six months to a year if surgery is needed.

Is walking good for ACL recovery? ›

It's important to start walking within a day or two after ACL surgery, but only a little. Walking for a minute or two can help reduce swelling, but you shouldn't walk any more than that. After two weeks, you can start walking around unassisted without crutches for short periods of time.

What test will show torn ligaments? ›

Imaging Tests

Our doctors often use ultrasound to diagnose muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries because the imaging test can produce clearer picture of soft tissues. Doctors use MRI scan to examine the ligaments to determine the extent of a knee injury.

Why is my knee not healing? ›

If you notice your knee injury isn't healing, it could be because you misjudged the severity or you simply didn't give it enough time and rest. Moderate soft-tissue injuries generally need a minimum of two weeks to heal, and returning too soon from a knee injury can actually cause more pain and tissue damage.

What are the 4 major knee ligaments? ›

Knee ligaments are bands of tissue that connect the thigh bone in the upper leg to the lower leg bones. There are four major ligaments in the knee: ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL. Injuries to the knee ligaments are common, especially in athletes.

Is a torn ligament in knee painful? ›

Knee ligament damage

If you tear your ACL, you may hear a pop or crack at the time of the injury. Other symptoms of a torn ACL include: severe pain in your knee. instability in your knee, which means you cannot put much weight on it, particularly when going up or down stairs.

What types of knee injuries require surgery? ›

These might require professional diagnosis and surgery if the injury is severe enough.
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.
  • Meniscus injuries.
  • Articular cartilage injuries.
  • Patella injuries.

Videos

1. Infection in ACL Surgery - From Prevention To Treatment : Dr Sachin Tapasvi
(Ortho TV : Orthopaedic Video Channel)
2. Knee Arthroscopy [Malayalam] - Dr. Binu - Asianet ME TV
(NMC Healthcare)
3. Injury to the lateral knee ligaments- KNEE ORTHOSIS
(OrlimanOp)
4. Tests For Examination Of The Knee - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
(nabil ebraheim)
5. How Long Do Knee Ligament Injuries Take To Heal?| Orthopedic Surgeon in Bangalore| Dr Sunil G Kini
(Manipal Hospitals)
6. What is ACL Surgery?
(Children's Hospital Colorado)

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