Other knee ligamentous injuries

  • Initial pre-referral workup

    Clinical history

    When did the injury occur (acute or chronic)?

    >What caused the injury (e.g direct blow, pivoting, cutting, jumping)?

    Does the knee catch, lock or give way?

    Can the patient bear weight?

    Can the leg fully straighten?

    Physical examination

    • swollen knee
    • inability to straighten
    • stiffness
    • varus/valgus instability
    • pain on palpation


    • pain X-rays (AP, lateral, notch and skyline)
    • consider MRI if clinically suspicious

    GP management

    Rule out acute fracture.

    If the patient has an avulsion or complete tear, refer for urgent assessment.

    Otherwise use RICE, physiotherapy, bracing and routine referral.

    Please instruct patients to bring films to specialist appointments at the RCH.

    Indications for specialist referral


    Complete intrasubstance tear or avulsion.


    Ongoing pain or instability in patients with incomplete tears after six weeks of bracing and physiotherapy.