Rupture of ligaments of the knee joint: treatment

Ligament of the knee perform the role of a fixator of the tibia to the femur. As a result of rupture is a disruption of the elasticity and exact location of structures of the joint, movements to become chaotic.

Classification of torn ligaments of the knee joint

Depending on the location of injury distinguish the following types of breaks:

  • the anterior cruciate ligaments;
  • posterior cruciate ligaments;
  • external lateral ligament;
  • internal lateral ligament.

Depending on the amount of damage to the fibers there are three degrees of severity of damage:

  • I – in conjunction affect only a few fibers, and the rest remain intact;
  • II – the ligament is damaged more than 50 % of the fibers, the mobility of joint limited;
  • III – the ligament is completely torn or detached from the fixing seat, and the joint becomes immobile and unstable.


The cause of the injury. The gap one way or the other ligaments of the knee joint is triggered by a certain type of movement, which was unacceptable by force or wrong:

  • rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament is called when the bent shank and the application of force to the back surface of the knee joint;
  • rupture of the posterior cruciate ligament is caused by application of direct blow in the Shin with a bent leg or a sudden extension of the knee joint;
  • rupture of the external lateral ligament happens when the person abruptly stumbled on an uneven surface or is invoked under the collar legs when walking in high heels;
  • rupture of the internal lateral ligament is invoked the same circumstances as the rupture of the outer ligaments, but there is a deviation tibia outwards.

In severe injuries can occur rupture of several ligaments. In such cases there is intra-articular hemorrhage and a patient needs a longer treatment and rehabilitation.


The main symptoms of torn ligaments:

  • sensation of crackling in trauma;
  • sharp pain in the knee;
  • swelling;
  • limitation or complete lack of control and bis movements;
  • the impossibility of transferring the body weight on the damaged leg;
  • balloting (abnormal movement) of the patella.

Ruptures cruciate ligaments are accompanied by more severe symptoms: intense pain, restriction of mobility, discomfort and, in some cases, accumulation of blood in the joint cavity (hemarthrosis a). Damage to the lateral ligaments of the clinical picture is not so expressed, but also is manifested by pain, swelling and impaired movement.

Symptoms of torn ligaments of the knee joint can't be eliminated without proper treatment. Subsequently, such patients in the joint may appear fibrous deposits that will be on life-to give themselves discomfort sensations.


If you suspect a rupture should take a number of actions:

  1. To provide an immovability of the damaged joint with the help of improvised means, pressure bandage, elastic bandage or special bandage. The victim needs to move as little as possible.
  2. Apply to the affected joint cold (through the fabric) to reduce hemorrhage and edema.
  3. If possible, create an exalted position for damaged feet.
  4. For severe pain take an analgesic.
  5. Bring the patient to the doctor.


After examination of the patient to confirm the diagnosis "rupture of the ligaments of the knee joint", the doctor may prescribe additional methods of examination:

  • x-ray;
  • CT;
  • MRI;
  • Ultrasound.

These techniques allow us to accurately determine the extent of ligament damage and to identify possible associated injuries of the joints (sprains, fractures, etc.). Based on these data the doctor can make a plan for further treatment of the patient.



Treatment of torn ligaments of the knee joint depends on the degree of damage. This can be used by conservative or surgical methods.

In most cases, the treatment of ligament rupture of the knee joint consists of the following activities:

  • the restriction of movement;
  • local application of cold in the first days;
  • elastic bandaging or the use of a special brace;
  • lift the affected legs above the level of the body;
  • the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain and signs of inflammation
  • warming ointments and compresses with drugs (a few days after the injury);
  • physiotherapy;
  • massage.

In the complete rupture of the ligament or the ineffectiveness of previous methods of conservative therapy the patient may be surgery. In most cases, it is a little invasive, performed through two small incisions using special endoscopic equipment (arthroscopy). Sometimes you may need to replace the torn ligament in the transplanted or synthetic tendons.

Damage to the lateral ligaments

Conservative therapy

Such treatments are applied when gaps I-II degree. To eliminate the signs of inflammation, swelling and pain you can apply physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, compresses with drugs, ointments and massage.

The period of recovery of lost functions of the bond is 1.5-2 months. The duration of rehabilitation depends on the patient's age, the regularity of treatment and the individual characteristics of the tissues of the body.

Surgical treatment

Surgery usually is indicated for tears of the III degree and the complete separation of the ligament from the tibia. Surgical treatment depends on the Statute of limitations damage.

When you perform the intervention within 3 weeks after the rupture can be sutured ligaments. In some cases, the affected ligament significantly disintegrate the fibers and their compaction use method strengthening it with fascia or tendon from adjacent muscles. In such cases, the duration of treatment and rehabilitation is increasing and there is a risk of infection in the joint.

If the surgery is performed through 3 weeks, the ends of the torn lateral ligaments it is impossible to bring together for crosslinking. During this time they are reduced and significantly away from each other. In such cases, surgeons use the technique with their arthroplasty through a variety of synthetic materials or polyester tape.

The successful treatment and rehabilitation of a patient with ruptures of ligaments of the knee joint depends largely on the timely treatment to the doctor. In many cases, to achieve recovery of the patient is possible with conservative therapy. If necessary, surgical treatment the patient carried out the stitching of the ligaments or replace them with the transplant. Almost all such interventions, invasive and performed using the arthroscope. Techniques for these operations are constantly evolving to allow patients to recover in a shorter time.

If you suspect a torn ligament in the knee joint, the patient must provide emergency assistance and to deliver to medicus-traumatologist. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe the implementation of x-ray or other studies (MRI, CT, ultrasound).