Brand New Ligament Found in the Knee!


             I use to play lacrosse all the time in high school; it was my favorite leisure activity. Unfortunately in my junior year I made a quick change of direction during a game and tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in my left knee. I had to get surgery on my knee because the ACL is incapable of healing on its own. The recovery process after surgery and to be able to play lacrosse again took a little less than a year. In my senior year after making full recovery I was ready to get back on the field but as soon as I did, I made another wrong move and tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee. Now in my sophomore year of college and being fully recovered, I learn that there is a newly found ligament in the knee. I find this news extremely interesting and when the topic was brought up during class a few weeks ago I knew I would have to do a blog post on it because I could relate to it so well. Now that I know of this newly found ligament I'm curious to know if I tore it along with my ACL's.

webcam-toy-photo56.jpg (My battle scars)

                As I learned over the past few years, ACL tears are very common in young athletes and ACL tears can cause other knee ligaments to tear. Not surprisingly, I learned that the new ligament, Anterolateral Ligament (ALL), could tear when the ACL tears. Also, after having surgery on your ACL, tearing your ALL could result in re-tearing the ACL, which leaves me wondering should I be worried about re-tearing my ACL with this newly found ligament? Should I take caution while participating in physical activities?  Found in the Guardian Express, Rebecca Savastio states, "Doctors have known for a long time that some people who had tears to the ACL would continue to suffer complete collapse of the knee despite having had the tear completely repaired via surgery, and yet it never occurred to them to delve more deeply into the knee structure to find out why until now." Although I do agree with the fact that doctors continued to just see the symptoms of some of their patients after ACL surgery and didn't know about the ALL ligament, I disagree with how Savastio kind of attacks doctors for not looking for this new ligament sooner.  Obviously the doctors were trying to find why the knee could still collapse, doctors are always looking to improve things. They didn't know what the source of the problem could have been and they are still not sure if the ALL is the cause.

                I read in the Science Daily article about how the ligament was discovered. In the 1879 a French surgeon who had noticed this ligament first but it was until this November where Belgian doctors studied 41 cadavers' knees and found this new ligament. In the NPR article it reads, "Bellemans, the lead surgeon on the study, tells Shots that about 80 percent of his patients with ACL tears also have an injury in the ALL." I find it kind of scary that its 80 percent of the ACL  patients were found to also have the ALL injury, I'm sure there are more studies to look into this further.So I ask you, would you worry if you were me? How does it make you feel that after all this time we are still finding new body parts? Does it scare you that there is probably still a lot of stuff about the body that we don't even know? Isn't it amazing what we can learn from science? Life is a mystery.

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