When a ligament has damage, it is no longer able to give support to the connective joint and as a result, it weakens that joint. Because ligaments play an important part of stabilization of the joints, they are also highly susceptible to injury. Ligament injuries to the knee, in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and located behind the knee, are widely seen in athletes. In addition to the ACL, the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) can also be injured. Because connective tissue such as ligaments must withstand a great deal of stress in day-to-day activities and have a relatively low blood supply, injuries can take a very long time to heal, and sometimes require surgery. Many professional athletes have had multiple surgeries to repair torn ligaments.
Most of these injuries will be confirmed with an MRI. Depending on the severity of the tear, arthroscopic surgery is sometimes necessary. If the tear is mild, you might be a candidate for a new procedure called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy. This is a new treatment option for various orthopedic injuries and conditions which have traditionally required surgery or other extensive treatments. Using the patient’s own blood, specially prepared platelets are concentrated and then re-injected into the affected area. The platelets in turn release substances known as growth factors that lead to improved natural tissue healing.