Dr Marais will repair the medial and lateral collateral ligaments either by stitching the ligaments together or re-attaching them with the use of a tissue graft although sometimes a brace and surgical screws may be required to keep the ligaments in place and properly stabilise the knee. A brace will be needed post-surgery to protect the ligament repair. The medial collateral ligament connects the tibia to the thighbone, and works by keeping the knee bones together, helping the knee to remain strong and stable. When the ligament is torn, some common symptoms include pain and sensitivity in the inner area of the knee, as well as a swollen knee joint. Some patients may feel like they are unable to place their normal body weight on the knee. At the time of injury, patients may hear a popping sound and the knee may lock into position, causing difficulty with proper movement and mobility.
If Dr Marais suspects that the medial collateral ligament is injured, he will examine the knee in order to determine the extent of the damage. He may perform imaging tests such as an x-ray and MRI scan. These tests will help him to confirm his diagnosis.
Although injuries to the medial collateral ligaments can often be treated with physical therapy and protective knee braces for support, surgery is sometimes recommended in severe cases. If surgery is required, Dr Marais will perform the procedure by either stitching the torn ends of the ligaments together or by using a tissue graft.
He will make a small incision in the knee, and reattach the torn ligament to the tibia or femur, depending on the nature of the injury. If the ligament is torn in the middle, Dr Marais will stitch the ligament back together. Depending on the extent of the damage, and the location of the tear, Dr Marais will make use of metal screws, a special device known as a suture anchor, surgical stitches, or bone staples.
After the surgery, Dr Marais will advise you on the best rehabilitation plan, which may include physical therapy, and some lifestyle changes.