The knee is a fairly simple joint in the body and its main purpose is to flex and extend the upper and lower leg. The knee is help together by 4 major ligaments that include: medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, posterior cruciate ligament and anterior cruciate ligament. There are also two meniscus within the knee which help to provide cushion from the femur (upper leg bone) and the tibia (lower leg bone). Each ligament has its own responsibilities when it comes to knee movement. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) limits the anterior slide of the tibia, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) limits the posterior slide of the tibia, medial collateral ligament (MCL) limits medial movement of the knee and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) limits hyperextension and lateral movement of the knee.
In contact sports such as football, soccer, rugby and less likely baseball and basketball the most common injury is to the ACL and MCL. This injury is referred to as the unhappy triad because there is injury to the ACL, MCL and medial meniscus. This injury occurs from a direct blow to the lateral or anterior knee or a quick lateral movement. This injury can be assessed by a chiropractor, orthopedic physician or physical therapist with a couple of orthopedic tests. To confirm any type of injury to these ligaments a MRI would be the next step. If you have injured your knee come see the great chiropractic physicians at ApexMedicalAZ for a consultation.