ACL Injury – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

ACL Injury – What is it, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments  condition. Furthermore, the anatomy of our knee  is nothing short of a miracle, or rather, a great sci-fi! With its incredibly complex but at the same time simple structure, at first glance it is not surprising that it has this appearance. What makes it so interesting and intriguing is the ligaments and small cartilaginous structures that make it up. Four ligaments mainly include the knee joint and connect the tibia and femur. One of these is crucial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It is located in the knee capsule and serves to restrict the forward movement of the tibia as well.

It also slows down knee rotation . A ligament injury, this can be a painful and uncomfortable topic. The person may not even be able to walk for a certain period of time. So, check now  ACL Injury – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments:What is ACL Injury:  An ACL Injury is tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (KROO-she-ate) (an ACL) – one of the major ligaments in the knee . ACL injuries usuallyoccur during sports that involve sudden stops, jumps or changes in direction – such as basketball, football, soccer, tennis, downhill skiing, volleyball and gymnastics.

Many people hear or feel a “pop” in the knee when an ACL Injury occurs . Your knee may swell, feel unsteady, and become too painful to bear weight . Depending on the severity of your ACL injury , treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help you regain strength and stability or surgery to replace the torn ligament followed by rehabilitation. A proper training program can help reduce the risk of an ACL Injury .

Causes of ACL Injury:  Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. The ACL, one of the two ligaments that cross in the middle of your knee, connects your femur (femur) to your backbone (tibia) and helps stabilize your knee joint. Most  ACL Injuries occur during sports and fitness activities that can put stress on the knee :

  • Slowing down and changing direction (cut)
  • Pivot with the foot firmly planted
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • stopping suddenly
  • Receiving a direct hit to the knee or collision, such as a football kit

When the ligament is damaged, there is usually a partial or complete tear through the tissue. A mild ACL injury  may overtake the ligament but leave it intact.

Symptoms of ACL Injury:  Signs and symptoms of an ACL Injury usually include:

  • A loud “pop” or “pop” feeling in the knee
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activity
  • Swelling that starts within a few hours
  • Loss of range of motion
  • A feeling of instability or “passing through” with heaviness

When to See a Doctor:  Seek immediate care if any knee injury causes signs or symptoms of an ACL Injury . The knee joint is a complex structure of bones, ligaments, tendons and other tissues that work together. It’s important to get a quick and accurate diagnosis to determine the severity of the injury and get proper treatment.

ACL Injury Risk Factors:  Women are more likely to have an ACL Injury than men who participate in the same sports. Studies have suggested some reasons for these risk differences. In general, female athletes exhibit an imbalance of strength in the thighs with the muscles in the front of the thigh (quadriceps) being stronger than the muscles in the back (hamstrings). The hamstrings help prevent the spine from moving too far forward – a movement that can strain the ACL.

Studies comparing jumping and landing techniques between male and female athletes have shown that female athletes are more likely to land from a jump in a way that increases stress on their knees. Research suggests that training to strengthen the muscles in the legs, hips and lower torso — in addition to training to improve jumping and landing techniques — may reduce the higher risk of ACL injury associated with female athletes.

Complications of ACL Injury:  People who experience an ACL Injury are at a higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, in which the joint cartilage deteriorates and its smooth surface becomes rough. Arthritis can occur even if you have surgery to rebuild the ligament. Several factors likely influence the risk of arthritis, such as the severity of the original injury, the presence of related injuries in the knee joint, or the level of activity after treatment.

Diagnosis of ACL Injury:  During the physical exam, your doctor will check your knee for swelling and tenderness – comparing your injured knee to your uninjured knee. He or she may also move the knee into a variety of positions to assess range of motion and overall joint function. Often the diagnosis can be made based on the physical exam alone, but you may need tests to rule out other causes and determine the severity of the injury. These tests can include:

  • X-rays . X-rays may be needed to rule out a bone fracture . However, X-rays cannot visualize soft tissue such as ligaments and tendons.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create images of hard and soft tissues in your body. An MRI can show the extent of an ACL injury and signs of damage to other tissue in the knee.
  • Ultrasound. Using sound waves to visualize internal structures, ultrasound can be used to check for injuries to the ligaments, tendons and muscles in the knee.

ACL Injury Treatments: Prompt  first aid care can reduce pain and swelling immediately following an ACL Injury. Follow the RICE model of self-care at home:

  • Rest. General rest is needed to heal and limits the weight  to the knee.
  • Ice. When you’re awake, try to dry your knee at least every two hours for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Compression. Wrap an elastic bandage or compression garment around the knee.
  • elevation. Lie down with your knee  on the pillows.

Rehabilitation:  Medical treatment for an ACL Injury begins with several weeks of rehabilitation therapy. A physical therapist will teach you how to do exercises that you will perform with ongoing supervision or at home. You can also use a brace to stabilize your knee and use crutches for a while to avoid putting weight  on your knee.

The goal of rehabilitation is to reduce pain and swelling, restore the knee’s range of motion, and strengthen the muscles. This physical therapy course can successfully treat an ACL Injury for individuals who are relatively inactive, exercise with moderate leisure and recreational activities, or play sports that place less stress on the knees.

Surgery:  Your doctor may recommend surgery if:

  • You are an athlete and you want to continue in your sport, especially if the sport involves jumping, cutting or spinning
  • More than one ligament or cartilage in the knee  is injured
  • You are young and active
  • Injury causes your knee  to buckle during daily activities

During ACL reconstruction, the surgeon removes the damaged ligament and replaces it with a segment of tendon – the ligament-like tissue that attaches muscle to bone. This replacement tissue is called a graft. Your surgeon will use a piece of tendon from another part of your knee  or a tendon from a deceased donor. The graft will serve as a scaffold on which new ligament tissue can grow.

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After the surgery, you will resume another course of rehabilitation therapy. Successful ACL reconstruction paired with rigorous rehabilitation can often restore stability and function to your knee . Athletes can often return to their sports after eight to 12 months.

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