There are 4 ligaments that made up of our knee:
The knee joint is located where the end of the thigh bone (femur) meets the top of the shin bone (tibia). Four main ligaments connect these two bones:
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) runs along the inside of the knee and prevents the knee from bending out.
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) runs along the outside of the knee and prevents the knee from bending in.
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is in the middle of the knee. It prevents the shin bone from sliding out in front of the thigh bone.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) works with the ACL. It prevents the shin bone from sliding backwards under the femur.
Ligament injuries in the knee – such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — are dreaded by professional and amateur athletes alike. They can be painful and debilitating. They can even permanently change your lifestyle. But there’s good news. While an ACL injury or other ligament damage once ended the career of many an athlete, treatment is much more successful now.
So what’s behind these feared injuries? Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. Two important ligaments in the knee, the ACL and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), connect the femur or thigh bone with the tibia, one of the bones of the lower leg. But too much stress on these ligaments can cause them to stretch too far — or even snap. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are one of the most serious types of knee injury.
An anterior cruciate ligament injury is the over-stretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. A tear may be partial or complete.
Symptoms of ACL Torn
- A “popping” sound at the time of injury
- Knee swelling within 6 hours of injury
- Pain, especially when you try to put weight on the injured leg
Those who have only a mild injury may notice that the knee feels unstable or seems to “give way” when using it.
Causes of ACL injury
An ACL injury can occur if you:
- Get hit very hard on the side of your knee, such as during a football tackle
- Overextend the knee joint
- Quickly stop moving and change direction while running, landing from a jump, or turning
Basketball, football, soccer, and skiing are common sports linked to ACL tears.
ACL injuries often occur with other injuries. For example, an ACL tear commonly occurs along with tears to the MCL and the shock-absorbing cartilage in the knee (lateral meniscus).
Most ACL tears are seen in the middle of the ligament, or the ligament is pulled off the thigh bone. These injuries form a gap between the torn edges, and do not heal on their own.
RICE. The RICE protocol is effective for most sports-related injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Rest. Take a break from the activity that caused the injury. Your doctor may recommend that you use crutches to avoid putting weight on your leg.
- Ice. Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Compression. To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage.
- Elevation. To reduce swelling, recline when you rest, and put your leg up higher than your heart.
For severe collateral ligament tears, you may need surgery to attach the ligament back to the bone if it was pulled away or to the other part of the ligament if it was torn in the middle.
Unfortunately, the cruciate ligaments — the ACL and PCL — cannot be repaired. Once they are completely torn or stretched beyond their limits, that’s it. The only option is a reconstruction. In this procedure, tendons are taken from other parts of your leg or a cadaver to replace the torn ligament.
For more information, please call (65) 6476 2106
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction – procedure & rehabilitation
Leave a reply