What are the Cruciate Ligaments?

The cruciate ligaments are 2 of the 4 ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. They cross each other to form an “X” with the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in front and the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) in back. They control the back and forth motion of the knee. The ACL runs diagonally in the middle of the knee and prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. The PCL connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone(tibia). The PCL is built stronger than the ACL which is why ACL injuries occur more often than PCL injuries.

Causes & Symptoms

ACL injuries occur when changing directions rapidly, stopping suddenly, slowing down while running, landing incorrectly or direct collision. PCL injuries are usually caused by overextension of the knee or a direct blow to the front of the knee. This can occur when striking the knee against the dashboard in an auto accident or falling on the knee when it is bent.

Symptoms can include swelling, pain, a wobbly knee sensation or trouble walking or bearing weight on the knee.

Treatment with PRP

In the past, serious knee injuries have been treated with surgery, long term use of medications and physical therapy. With recent scientific breakthroughs, sufferers have advanced medical treatments available to them which include PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cell therapy.  PRP is a non-surgical therapy that is highly favored by orthopedic surgeons. Blood is drawn from the patient, and the platelets which contain growth factors and anti-inflammatory components are injected into the injured site. This therapy has been successfully proven to reduce recovery time, improve joint flexibility and rejuvenate damaged tissue.

Treatment with Stem Cells (Regenerative Therapy)

The use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’S)  which are derived from the body’s own bone marrow or adipose tissue, is an advanced treatment used in conjunction with PRP. These cells also aid in the reduction of inflammation and rejuvenation of the injured ligamentous structures.