What is ACL?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the key ligaments inside the knee that provides stabilization to the human knee joint. The ACL connects the thighbone (femur) to shinbone (tibia) at the knee joint.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
One of the most common knee injuries are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) sprain, slightly torn, or highly torn. ACL and PCL are relatively common knee injuries among professional athletes who participate in pivoting action sports (e.g. football, basketball, netball, soccer, handball, gymnastics, alpine skiing and downhill skiing).
Grade-I (ACL Injury) — A mild injury is caused by slightly stretched ligament but the knee joints still remains stable. Such injury rarely needs surgery.
Grade-II (ACL Injury) — A moderate injury in which ligament becomes loose or may less likely to torn. The joint may unstable during activity. Depending on the level of instability surgery is performed.
Grade-III (ACL Injury) — A severe injury type in which ligament are completely ruptured and split into two segments. Thus, fails to support stability to knee joint.
ACL Grade III injury is the most severe type of ligament injury, and that’s why it usually requires surgery to repair the broken ligament.
ACL Injury Causes
ACL is one of the bands of highly dense fibrous tissues that help to control the back and forth knee movement during running, turning and pivot actions. They can hamper range of motion when the knee twisted, bend or hits forcefully on the hard surface area accidentally; cause of ligament gets stretched or torn either partially or completely.
It is well known fact – female athletes always have a greater risk of injuring their anterior cruciate ligament, (ACL) than male competitor due to anatomical, biomechanical and hormonal factors as well.
Prime Symptoms And Signs
- Popping Sound Inside The Knee Joint.
- Knee Swelling.
- Feel Impact On Range Of Motion.
- Intolerable Knee Pain Begins With Walking And Standing.
- Discomfort And Sensation On Knee.
When you approach the doctor to diagnose a torn ACL or PCL, He will start with a physical examination including certain signs and symptoms of injury. Thereafter, may order for X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to figure out what causes pain or discomfort. On some occasions, an ultrasound scan may also be used to examine internal damage inside the knee. If you have injured ACL, it will be visible on scan.
- Warm Up And Stretch To Improve Joint’s Mobility.
- Avoid Excessive Exercising.
- Get Comfortable And Proper Shoe Fit.
- Put On Suitable Exercise Gear To Minimize The Risk Of Injuries.
- Warm Up Before Intense Work
- Build A Moderate And Comprehensive Exercise Schedule.
- Don’t Tread On The Heels Of Novice Fitness Trainer.
- Adopt Cut And Dried Lifting Methods While Handling Heavy Loads.
Treatments for ACL Injury
Approaches of treatment for ACL injury will depend on how badly you’ve been injured including several other factors like age, fitness, type of the injury and lifestyles. Here are the some key options that doctors generally suggest –
First aid-If ligaments are less likely injured then applies an ice pack over the knee to decrease swelling and pain. You may also wrap up the knee with an ace bandage to control swelling.
Rest- Relax and have rest as much as possible so that damaged ligaments could heal quickly and easily. This will lead to the speedy recovery and quick return to normal activities of life.
Medications- Anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen etc.) help to relive pain. In case of intolerable pain, doctor may inject the injured knee with steroid medication.
No doubt, ACL injury – (GRADE I AND GRADE II) can heal with help of above mentioned recommendations but in case of grade III injury, surgery is required to regain normal motion of knee.
Procedure to reconstruct ACL is done with an arthroscope using small incisions. During this procedure, the torn ligaments is removed and replaced with a tissue graft. Postoperative cares starts immediately after surgery is done. It is advised to take proper rest and care to get back the normal function of knee. Typically, the patient may carry on everyday activities within 15 to 25 days. However, it also depends on the healing, balanced diet and overall health of the patient.
If planning for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, consult with Dr. Manit Arora, the most experienced & highly reputed orthopedic surgeon in Mohali, Punjab. In addition to being a top Sports Medicine Surgeon, He has further training in shoulder, hip and knee arthroscopy. He has published number of articles in famed professional journals along with the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. In addition to this excellent clinical practice, Dr. Arora has been an Adjunct Lecturer at University of New England, Australia and a Conjoint Associate Lecturer at UNSW, Australia. He has also successfully completed Fellowship training in knee and shoulder arthroscopy with Dr. Peter Annear, one of Australia’s leading knee arthroscopy surgeons and Dr. Jens Ulrich Buelow.