Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the main knee ligaments and it’s found right in the center of the knee. This ligament runs from the thigh (femur) to the shin (tibia). The purpose of this ligament is to keep the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur (dislocation). The ACL teams up with the Posterior Cruciate Ligament to make the rotation of the knee more stable.
ACL injuries are usually sports-related, and they occur when the knee is forcefully twisted or hyper-extended. ACL tears are caused by abrupt directional changes when the foot is fixed on the ground or when deceleration forces the knee to cross. This means that ACL tears can be caused by rapid direction change, sudden stops, abruptly slowing down while running, a bad landing from a jump, and direct contact with the ACL.
ACL Tear Symptoms
When these injuries happen, a popping sound may be heard, and you might get the feeling that your knee gave out. Within the first two hours, your knee will swell, and you may experience a buckling sensation whenever you twist it.
ACL Tear Diagnosis
A doctor can diagnose your ACL tear by analyzing symptoms, looking at your medical history, performing a physical examination and/or tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, stress tests, or arthroscopy.
Treatment for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear
An ACL tear can be treated with non-surgical or surgical methods, depending on the severity of the injury. If the stability of the knee was not compromised, non-surgical methods such as rest, compression, elevation or icing the knee can work just fine to help you with minor ACL injury symptoms. Physical therapy is another non-surgical treatment that will allow patients to recover the motion and strength of the knee.
The key surgical solution for ACL tears is ACL reconstruction, which is meant to tighten the knee and restore stability. This kind of surgery is done with an arthroscope and it involves the replacement of the torn ligament with tissue graft that can be extracted from your uninjured knee or hamstring. Rehabilitation after this kind of procedure is necessary to help the patient fully recover and go back to their regular level of activity and routine.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear in Children
Even though ACL tear is most common in young adults, children at play are still at risk of sustaining serious knee injuries. In some cases, a child’s underdeveloped muscles and coordination may leave them more susceptible to ACL tears.
Treating an ACL tear is difficult in children because it can threaten the growth plate of the knee. In such cases, ACL reconstruction calls for drilling holes through the growth plate, but there’s also the option of a sparing surgery that doesn’t require hole drilling.
Treatment options should of course be discussed with the primary physician in order to decide the best course of treatment for your child.
If you suspect that your ACL has been compromised, seek the opinion of a trusted medical professional to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the extent of your injuries. This will give you the knowledge and peace of mind that you are taking the right next steps for your overall health and wellbeing.
Other Spine List
- Normal Anatomy of the Knee Joint
- Knee Arthritis
- Knee Fracture
- Meniscus Tear
- Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint
- Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
- ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Tendon
- ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon
- Uni Condylar Knee Replacement
- Meniscus Repair
- Patellofemoral Instability
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL Reconstruction