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Knee ligaments

Ligament injuries are one of the most common injuries to the knee and very few players fully recover from the problem.


Footballers Robert Pires, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, Ronaldo, and Ruud van Nistelrooy have all suffered from knee ligament damage.

Cricketers Simon Jones, Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan have also experienced knee ligament problems.


Too much strain put on the knee.

It is usually a twisting or turning action which damages the ligaments.

Direct contact of the knee from opponents can also cause damage to the ligaments.

Jones ruptured his knee when his studs got caught in the turf when he was sliding to field a ball.

How many ligaments are there in the knee?
There are four main ligaments in the knee - one on either side and two across the middle.

  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)

    Jones ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, one of the cross-shaped ligaments within the knee-joint.

    Gazza famously also famously injured the same part of the knee in the 1991 FA Cup final at Wembley.

    You can have a minor pull which heals within a few weeks, or a major pull which takes between one and three months.

    If it is completely torn you could be out for a year.

    Most cases do not require operations, but occasionally people run into major trouble.

    The medial ligament is linked to the cartilage so further problems can result.

    Physiotherapy is used as the medial ligament, being outside the joint, heals more easily than the internal cruciate ligaments.

    Cruciate injuries, however, require surgery to repair the damaged ligament and several hundred such operations are carried out on sports stars each year.

  • What is an ACL?
    The road to recovery

    Achilles heel
    Bone fracture
    Ligament damage
    Metatarsal hell
    Back injuries
    Hamstring strain
    Shin splints
    Sprained ankle
    Dead leg
    Knee ligaments

    Open Quote
    The vast majority of isolated medial ligament injuries heal without an operation
    Close Quote
    Simon Roberts
    Sports injury consultant

    :: Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital, Oswestry
    :: Knee injuries

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