Ligaments help to support the stability of a joint, and aid in joint proprioception (awareness). They are usually injured in traumatic incidents involving twisting/awkward landing.

The management depends on which ligament is damaged, and the extent of the sprain or tear (whether it is a minor stretching of the ligament or a complete tear).


LCL Cause: A rare injury involving a varus stress to the knee (usually due to direct contact to the inner knee).

MCL Cause: A valgus force to the knee (where the knee goes inwards and the lower leg goes outwards). This can also be a chronic injury if client is knock-kneed.

PCL Cause: Fall onto shin; a force to the shin knocking it backwards; forced hyperflexion

ACL Cause: Stiff landing on a straight knee; knee varus/valgus forces (knee goes inwards or outwards), extreme rotation of the leg, pivoting on a planted foot. Common in sports such as football, netball, basketball and skiing.


LCL: Outer knee pain, loss of end range knee extension, tenderness at outer knee joint line.

MCL: Inner knee pain and tenderness, lack of end or range knee extension, minimal or no swelling. Patient reports instability or a “wobbly knee”.

PCL: Poorly defined knee pain, a feeling of instability when going down stairs or down hill; a tibial step-off (when the shin drops lower than usual).

ACL: A crack/snap/pop at time of injury along with intense pain. This usually settles, but a rapid joint effusion (swelling often with bruising) occurs during the first 2 hours post injury. The knee feels unstable. Patient often cant fully straighten knee, and the knee has widespread tenderness.


Foam Roller: Quads / ITB / Hamstring / Calfs

VMO Exercise:

Taping: Medial Patella Glide

Taping: Rocktape for Anterior knee pain

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