ACL and knee ligament injuries

What are ACL and knee ligament injuries?

Ligament repair and reconstruction
ACL Tears (anterior cruciate ligament)

Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. The ligaments of the knee joint provide stability. The two groups of ligaments that hold the knee together are the collateral and cruciate ligaments.

Collateral ligaments are present on either side of the knee and prevent the knee moving too far in a side-to-side motion.

The cruciate ligaments are inside the knee and control the back and forth movement. The anterior ligament is in the front and the posterior in the back of the knee. 

An ACL injury occurs when the knee if forcefully twisted or the lower leg extends forwards too much. This can happen during sport when changing direction suddenly, stopping suddenly or landing incorrectly from a jump. It can also happen as a result of a collision, for example a football tackle.

At the time of the injury, it might feel as though the knee has given way. The knee swells within the first couple of hours. The knee may lose its full range of movement and become unstable, especially during twisting movements.


This is largely by clinical examination and MRI.


This is only for people for whom the rehabilitation or risks of surgery are too great.

This is usually an ACL reconstruction. This is highly recommended for people who are young, want to preserve their joint and return to pivoting activities. The torn ligament cannot be repaired by stitching it back together – the torn ligament has to be removed and replaced with a tendon from another area of the leg, eg. The hamstring.