Ligaments connect one bone to another within a joint and help to provide stability and flexibility. There are ligaments helping to support every joint in the body. Injury to each one has slightly different symptoms and treatment. It is possible to damage more than one ligament in the same incident, particularly in the knee. Injuries can consist of different levels of sprains or if the impact is significant the ligament can tear. Some ligament tears require surgery with the most common ones being in the knee, shoulder, and ankle. In the knee the most common ligament injuries include the Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and less commonly the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
If surgery is not required, physical therapy can help speed recovery. If surgery is needed, the patient will still require a structured program of rehabilitation, supervised by a physical therapist to best ensure the quickest and most complete recovery.