The management of ligament injuries in the knee has progressed significantly over the past two decades as a result of both laboratory and clinical studies that better define the healing capacity of these supporting structures. The intracapsular ligaments (the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments) appear to have limited potential for spontaneous healing and frequently require surgical reconstruction. The extracapsular ligaments (the medial and lateral collateral ligaments), however, appear to have a fairly robust potential for healing. As a result, the need for surgical intervention is limited to specific clinical situations.
Dr. Indelicato is Professor of Orthopaedics and Huizenga Professor of Sports Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Reprint requests: Dr. Indelicato, University of Florida Sports Medicine Center, 200 SW 62nd Boulevard, Suite B, Gainesville, FL 32607.