An anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which is one of the major ligaments in the knee. ACL injuries are most commonly occur during sports that involve quick stops or changes in direction, jumping and landing. Many people feel a pop in the knee when the injury occurs. The knee may swell, feel unstable and become too painful to bear your weight. Treatment mainly includes rest and rehabilitation and also exercises to help to regain strength and stability. Depending on the severity of the ACL injury, surgery is required to replace the torn ligament which is followed by rehabilitation. The risk of an ACL injury can be reduced with a proper training program.
One of the most common knee injuries is among the anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear. If you have injured your ACL, surgery is required to regain full function of the knee. This may depend on several factors, such as the deepness of your injury and the activity level you are done.
Three bones meet to form the knee joint. They are your thigh-bone (femur), shin-bone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). The kneecap is provided in front of the joint to provide some protection. With the help of ligaments, bones are connected to other bones. Most importantly there are four primary ligaments in the knee. They act as a strong rope to bind the bones together and keep the knee stable for the comfortability.
These collateral ligaments are found on the sides of the knee. Medial ligaments and lateral collateral ligament are inside and on the outside respectively. These control the sideways motion and also brace the knee against unusual movements.
These ligaments are found inside the knee joint. They are crossed each other to form an X shape with the anterior cruciate ligament in front and the posterior cruciate ligament in back. The back and forth motion of the knee is fully controlled by the cruciate ligaments present in them. While the anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally into the middle of the knee. This will prevent the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. As well as they provide rotational stability to the knee.
Causes of Acl Injuries
- The anterior cruciate ligament will injure in several ways:
- Changing direction rapidly
- Stopping suddenly
- Slowing down while running
- Landing from a jump incorrectly
- Direct contact or collision
The studies have shown that female athletes have a higher chance of ACL injury than male athletes while considering certain sports. This is due to the differences in physical conditioning, muscular strength, and neuromuscular control. Other suggested causes which are included, are the differences in pelvis and lower extremity (leg) alignment. Also, the increased looseness in ligaments, and the effects of estrogen on ligament properties.
Symptoms of Acl injuries
Signs and symptoms usually include:
- A loud pop or a popping sensation in the knee is the main
- Severe pain and the inability to continue the activity
- Rapid swelling over the knee
- Loss of range in the motion
- A feeling of instability
- Giving way with weight-bearing
When to see a doctor
The knee joint that works together with the bones, ligaments, tendons and other tissues is a complex structure. The severity of the injury determines as important to get prompt as well as an accurate diagnosis. Depending upon the patient’s individual needs treatment for an ACL tear will vary. As an example, the young athlete involved in agility sports will mostly require surgery to safely return to sports. The older individual may be able to return to a quieter lifestyle without surgery if they are less active. The type of treatment for this will depend upon the symptoms you have. Contact Dr Madhu Thumu for further information regarding the diagnosis and treatment.