A Look behind Knee Ligament Damage

The pain caused by knee ligament damage is often excruciating, and damaged ligaments reduce the range of motion in the knee. As a result, everyday tasks like walking or negotiating stairs can seem unbearable. One of the major factors contributing to reduced mobility as a result of knee ligament damage is the loss of neuromuscular control, which means that muscles cannot work together in order to stabilise the knee.

Knee Ligament Damage

Up to 40% of knee injuries can be attributed to knee ligament damage, which occur regularly in young people partaking in sport. Damage is often confined to a solitary ligament, although sometimes multiple ligaments are affected. As a general rule, the more structures involved, the greater the risk of neuromuscular damage and functional impairment.

The knee joint contains four ligaments which can be affected: the anterior cruciate, medial collateral, posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments.

Neuromuscular control is one of the major factors in knee ligament damage, which arises due to a lack of input from the damaged ligament or ligaments in question. Muscles become unable to function in co-ordination to stabilise the knee, creating a feeling of instability – where a sudden loss of control is felt – referred to colloquially as the knee “giving way”.

There are a number of effective remedies used to treat knee ligament damage, which serve to relieve pain, address the instability of the knee and prevent any degenerative damage from occurring. Redistributing the weight load away from the affected zones of the injured knee helps to relieve pain and improve joint function. This helps to strengthen and retain neuromuscular control, allowing the nerves and muscles to work together in order to stabilise the knee.

Generally, rehabilitative action will vary dependent on which ligament, or combination of ligaments, have been injured. A professional can advise on the best course of action dependent on the nature of the injury.

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