Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
Description Of The Injury: An injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is most often in the form of a tear. This ligament is one of four ligaments within the knee and serves to attach the upper end of the femur to the upper portion of the tibia.
Injury Symptoms: In some cases there is a loud popping or
cracking sound at the time of the incident. There is usually intense pain and lack of mobility in
the knee joint (unable to straighten leg).
There will be instability and a large amount
of swelling around the injured area. It will be painful to place any weight on the leg where the knee has been injured.
An injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament cannot and should not be treated at home. Attempting to do so will result in permanent dysfunction in the knee that can prevent simple daily activities. Apply the R.I.C.E. method after the injury and seek professional medical attention immediately.
Professional Medical Treatments:
Surgery is required to repair a torn ACL. Depending on the source of the injury (torn in the middle or detached from the bone) the ACL can be fused or reattached to the bone. If there is too much damage, a portion of the hamstring can be used to recreate an ACL during surgery.
Physical Therapy and Exercises:
There are five phases of exercise programs designed to recuperate from a torn ACL. If all phases are performed successfully, the person may be able to resume athletic activity within 6 months. Some severe injuries can require as much as nine months physical therapy before normal athletic activity can be resumed.
Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:
Any exercises that strengthen the knee joint such a lunges and squats will be valuable in preventing a torn or injured ACL. Of much more value are hinged knee supports or stabilized knee supports the prevent the knee from bending unnaturally.