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Your knees work hard each day. So it's not surprising that problems fan develop. Injury, overuse, weakness, or aging can harm your knees. Ligaments play a big role in bracing your knee joints for these activities. But when you injure a ligament you may feel as though your knees won't allow you to move or even to hold you up. To help you move in comfort again, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend arthroscopy.
Two ligaments in your knees are more prone to injury than others. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), in the center of the knee, is the commonly injured by a twist. Losing control of your skis or falling off a ladder, for example, are both setups for an ACL injury. Your medial collateral ligament (MCL), on the inside of your knee, is vulnerable to blows from the side, common in contact sports like football. Either injury may weaken your knee joint, making it wobbly and causing a variety of symptoms. It=f left untreated, more serious problems can de develop.
A Healthy Knee
The knee joins the upper and lower leg bones (femur and tibia). A cushion of cartilage (meniscus) sits between these bones. The ends of the bones and back of the kneecap (patella) are covered by smooth articular cartilage. This helps the joint move easily. Soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) make the knee stable and strong.
Common Knee Problems
A sudden twist or repeated squatting can tear the meniscus. This may make your knee hurt or swell. Your knee may also catch or lock when you move it.
ACL Ligament Tears
A fall, twist, or blow may tear the anterior cruciate ligament. ACL tears can cause pain, swelling, and an unstable knee.