The Orthopedic Blog

What is the difference between an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear and a Meniscal tear

Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

What is the difference between an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear and a Meniscal tear

A Medial Collateral Ligament tear or MCL tear is where the MCL in the knees' exterior is over extended and damaged. It commonly occurs when there is an unexpected twisting force through the person’s knee. The sudden twisting force can cause damage to some or all the fibers of the MCL, which will then lead to intense pain, instability and swelling.

Aside from the MCL tear, there are other knee injuries such as a Meniscus and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear. Below are a few details about these injuries.  acl surgery

Meniscus Tear

As with any knee injuries, this injury can be extremely painful and unbearable. Additionally, it is one of the frequently injured areas of the knee. The meniscus is a layer of cartilage in a person’s knee that is sandwiched between the joints. Its purpose is to protect the bones from any wear and tear. However, all it takes to damage the meniscus is an unexpected twist of the knee.

In some major cases, a layer of the frayed cartilage can break loose and get caught in the patient’s knee joint, which usually causes a lock-up. A meniscus tear and MCL tear are common in contact sports such as rugby, football, and skiing.

As mentioned above, these tears can happen easily and only needs a twist of the knee, for instance, when a player changes direction unexpectedly while running. More often than not, these injuries can happen at the same time as another knee injury, such as an ACL tear.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

This ligament begins at the frontage of the medial femoral condyle. It goes through the central point of a person’s knee to the joints between the tibial spines. Although it is a relatively small structure, it is an important part that prevents the femur from sliding toward the rear. If a person sustains a torn ACL, his knee can buckle and become unbalanced.

It is fortunate that there are many qualified orthopedic surgeons who can fix an MCL tear and other knee injuries. Taking the time to find the best surgeon is all that is required.


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Topics: MCL tear