Purpose: This clinical concepts paper discusses the essential elements of cruciate ligament recuperation, micro-trauma repair, and remodeling.
Methods: Cruciate ligament mechanobiology and tissue heterogeneity, anatomy and vascularity, and synovial membrane and fluid functions are discussed in relationship to deficiency-induced inflammatory responses, nervous and immune system function, recuperation, repair and remodeling, and modern threats to homeostasis.
Results: Cruciate ligament surgical procedures do not appreciate the vital linked functions of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems and immune system function on knee ligament injury recuperation, micro-trauma repair, and remodeling. Enhanced knowledge of these systems could provide innovative ways to decrease primary non-contact knee injury rates and improve outcomes following reconstruction or primary repair.
Conclusions: Restoration of knee joint homeostasis is essential to cruciate ligament recuperation, micro-trauma repair, and remodeling. The nervous and immune systems are intricately involved in this process. Varying combinations of high-intensity training, under-recovery, technostress, and environmental pollutants (including noise) regularly expose many athletically active individuals to factors that abrogate the environment needed for cruciate ligament recuperation, micro-trauma repair, and remodeling. Current sports training practice, lifestyle psychobehaviors, and environmental factors combine to increase both primary non-contact knee injury risk and the nervous and immune system dysregulation that lead to poor sleep, increased anxiety, and poorly regulated hormone and cytokine levels. These factors may create a worst-case scenario leading to poor ligament recuperation, micro-trauma repair, and remodeling. Early recognition and modification of these factors may decrease knee ligament injury rates and improve cruciate ligament repair or reconstruction outcomes.
Level of evidence: V.
Keywords: Biology; Inflammation; Osteoarthritis; Vascularity.