A Questionable New Knee Ligament with It’s Own Knee Surgery

Knee pain relief with yoga

One more knee ligament and one more knee surgery?

Except for a few anatomy geeks, most yoga professionals are quite happy when they have completed their anatomy training. So, they might not be happy to hear of a newly “discovered” knee ligament called the anterolateral ligament (think back to your anatomy training and you should be able to know generally where to find this ligament) to add to their anatomical knowledge.

The New York Times first reported of the finding in 2013, “Doctors Identify a New Knee Ligament” which identified the A.L.L. Today they report questions about the quickly growing popularity of this new surgery said to help stabilize the knee after A.C.L. (anterior cruciate ligament) repair, by operating on this “new’ ligament. Many doctors and researchers are questioning both the effectiveness of the surgery and even the existence of the A.L.L.

As reported in the recent New York Times article, Dr. Freddie Fu, the chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, argues “that a team of experts at his facility had concluded after a review that the A.L.L. was not a distinct ligament but was part of a well-known anatomical structure.”

It is safe to say that the surgery is still experimental. Time will only tell if the surgery will be seen as beneficial and if we need to add another ligament in our yoga professional text books.

The Yoga Professional Academy Takeaway

  • Yoga teachers and yoga therapists alike, would be wise to advise any student or client considering this surgery to get a second opinion.
  • Yoga therapists who have clients with ACL injuries whether reconstructed or not should continue to follow usual yoga therapy interventions that help create stability. It was mentioned several times that the reason for the surgery was to hopefully create more stability for patients’ knees.
  • Yoga therapists, even if your client ends up needing surgery, if you have helped them to create more strength and stability for their knee coupled with awareness, alignment and biomechanics training, your client will be well served. While working at the Center for Sports Medicine at St. Francis Hospital, candidates for knee surgery were always put on a knee rehabilitation program first. This either eliminated the need for surgery or helped patients recover faster after their surgery.
  • Yoga Therapy Training Schools – no need to change the curriculum and add the new ligament! Be sure that you have thorough training on how to stabilize knee injuries. You may use the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) Yoga Therapy Today and International Journal of Yoga Therapy knee articles below in your training for a nominal fee. Contact IAYT for more information.

Additional Reading

“Keeping On Track with Knees”, Ananda Yoga Therapist Training

“The Role of Yoga Therapy in Knee Rehabilitation” International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 2006

“How to Work with Knee Pain in Clients Part 1”, Yoga Therapy in Practice, Spring 2016

“The Great Knee Quiz”, Ananda Yoga Therapist Training

Additional Training

Click here to learn about the Yoga Therapists Tool Kit with how-to for yoga therapy interventions, attend yoga therapy webinars, professional peer learning and more!

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