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Ligament Tears

“A common source of pain, especially common in active individuals that often can be treated without surgery”

The bones of the knee (femur, patella and tibia are connected to each other  by four very strong ligaments that work to keep the knee stable. The  collateral ligaments are found on the sides of your knee. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. They control the sideways motion of your knee. The cruciate  ligaments are found inside your knee joint. They crisscross each other to form an “X” to control the back and forth motion of your knee. The most  important of all these ligaments is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL),  followed by the less often affected posterior cruciate ligament. A ligament sprain is a joint injury that causes a stretch or a tear in a ligament. It can  range from a grade 1 sprain, one with minimal ligament damage to a grade 3 or complete ligament rupture resulting in a very unstable knee joint.

Why your ligament tear hurts.

The ligament has nerves and blood vessels that surround the ligament and if there is a tear, the pain can be severe. Joint swelling can also occur due to a torn blood vessel that can cause a great deal of pain on its own.


The severity of symptoms usually correlate with the severity of the ligament injury and include:
• Knee joint pain
• Knee joint swelling or effusion
• The knee gives way or feels unstable
• An audible popping or snap is heard at the time of injury

If you are experiencing pain, weakness or instability in the knee you could be suffering from a ligament tear of the knee. Our expert doctors at Spine & Sports Medicine of New York use expertise in innovative assessments toaccurately diagnose the cause of your knee pain.

Other diseases that can mimic a knee ligament tear include:
• Knee osteoarthritis
• Knee meniscus tear
• Fracture

Our Board-Certified Physicians Can Accurately Diagnose the Source of Your Pain

We conduct a thorough clinical evaluation to determine if the pain is generated from one of the four knee ligaments as well as other conditions that share similar symptoms. We begin our evaluation of your problem with a complete medical history using detailed information gathering tools followed by a focused physical examination. We then confirm our diagnosis with specialized tests which may include x-ray, ultrasonography or MRI.

“Often, no surgery is needed to relieve your knee ligament pain”


The treatment of your knee ligament injury depends on the type of injury you have. Grade 1-2 injuries can heal with conservative treatment such as bracing and physical therapy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and crutches may be helpful when the injury first happens. As the initial symptoms settle down, a more definitive treatment plan will be decided on based on your age, activity level, and any related injuries. Severe grade 3 ligament injuries may be helped with platelet-rich plasma injection series.

Here’s what you can expect if one of our pain specialists treats your pain:

• Relief of pain to get you back to living.
• Several treatment options available to target the root of the problem
• May be accompanied by physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint
• Innovative procedures to strengthen the ligaments in your knee
• No general anesthesia, surgery or prolonged recovery periods to slow you down from your busy schedule
• Thousands of patients have been helped by our innovative approach to knee injuries

Knee ligament tear 1- This sagittal knee MRI demonstrates a  complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

This sagittal knee MRI demonstrates a
complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

This drawing demonstrates the four  ligaments in the knee.

This drawing demonstrates the four
ligaments in the knee.

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Dr. Panagos took extreme care for my condition on many occasions. He was also instrumental in enabling me too make a trip to France for our Daughters birthday. I was in excruciating back pain and he gave me the formula to be able to sustain myself for a week during that time. He did all of this OUTSIDE of his office time, from his home during the evening. That is my kind of a caring Doctor. 

Oscar Y
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