An ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction, jumping and landing. About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.
This injury is most common in athletes who play football, basketball and soccer for reason-ACL tears happen as a result of rapid direction changes, improper landing from a jump, stopping suddenly, and direct collision with another player, all of which are common aspects of these three sports.
One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear. If you have injured your anterior cruciate ligament, you may require surgery to regain full function of your knee. This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your injury and your activity level.
Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thigh-bone (femur), shin-bone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). Your kneecap sits in front of the joint to provide some protection. Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. There are four primary ligaments in your knee. They act like strong ropes to hold the bones together and keep your knee stable.
These are found on the sides of your knee. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. They control the sideways motion of your knee and brace it against unusual movement.
The anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally in the middle of the knee. It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur, as well as provides rotational stability to the knee.
Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. The ACL, one of two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee, connects your thigh-bone (femur) to your shin-bone (tibia) and helps stabilise your knee joint. ACL injuries often happen during sports and fitness activities that can put stress on the knee:
- Suddenly slowing down and changing direction (cutting)
- Pivoting with your foot firmly planted
- Landing awkwardly from a jump
- Stopping suddenly
- Receiving a direct blow to the knee or collision, such as a football tackle
Signs and symptoms of an ACL injury usually include:
- A loud “pop” or a “popping” sensation in the knee
- Severe pain and inability to continue the activity
- Rapid swelling
- Loss of range of motion
- A feeling of instability or “giving way” with weight-bearing
Treatment for ACL Injuries
Treatment for an ACL tear will vary depending upon the patient’s individual needs. For example, the young athlete involved in agility sports will most likely require surgery to safely return to sports. The less active, usually older, individual may be able to return to a quieter lifestyle without surgery.
Non-surgical Treatment: A torn ACL will not heal without surgery. But non-surgical treatment may be effective for patients who are elderly or have a very low activity level. If the overall stability of the knee is intact, the doctor may recommend simple, non-surgical options.
Surgical Treatment for ACL Injuries: Most ACL tears cannot be stitched back together. To surgically repair the ACL and restore knee stability, the ligament must be reconstructed. The doctor will replace your torn ligament with a tissue graft. This graft acts as a scaffolding for a new ligament to grow on.
The less active, usually older, individual may be able to return to a quieter lifestyle without surgery. The type of treatment depends upon the symptoms you have. Contact Medisys Hospital, a growing super speciality hospital in Hyderabad. They aid in improving patients’ health. You will get the best treatment according to your symptoms.