An ACL or anterior cruciate ligament tear is basically an injury in your knee’s ligament. Your ACL is responsible for keeping your shinbone from slipping forward and stabilizing your entire knee, so a tear could result in swelling and pain.
Failing to treat an ACL injury could lead to more serious injuries later on. ACL injuries are very prevalent among athletes, particularly those who play soccer, football and basketball. But the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, AAOS, female athletes have an increased risk of experiencing ACL injuries.
Common Causes of ACL Injuries
Generally speaking, ACL injuries tend to occur in highly active individuals. Likewise, specific movements like the ones below typically tend to result in ACL injuries:
- Shifting speeds while running
- Changing directions rapidly
- Overextending or overstraining the knee joint
- Landing from a jump flat-footed
You could likewise sustain an injury to your ACL due to a blow to the side portion of the knee, like in a football tackle or an auto accident. ACL tears, however, are very common sports injuries. Football, basketball, soccer, skiing, and volleyball are just a couple of sports that usually make individuals susceptible to ACL tears.
These people will need to pivot and constantly jump as part of the game.
How Do I Know If I Have an ACL Injury?
Individuals who have an ACL injury typically notice a popping noise right after tearing their ACL. They will also experience severe swelling within six hours of being injured, and intense pain when turning, twisting, or walking on the affected leg.
Also, your knee will feel very unstable, like it’s about to give out when you try to use it. To lower your risk of sustaining an ACL injury, you need to learn how to do preventive techniques to reduce undue strain on your knees.
For instance, using the balls of the feet when landing will enable the calf muscles to support the body better and reduce unnecessary strain on the knees.
Treating ACL Injuries
Treatment options for ACL injuries will depend on the injury’s severity and the patient’s specific requirements and goals. Some individuals could go on to use their injured knee but could sustain more severe injuries later on.
For athletes, surgical intervention and physical therapy sessions are the best treatment options for safe and quick recovery. It’s immensely vital to consult one of the top orthopedic physicians in Des Moines as soon as possible to help make sure that there’s no damage to the surrounding ligaments or broken bones.
Take note though that you need to get help right away if your injured knee is blue since this could indicate injury to the blood vessels.
Injuries to the ACL are quite common but rarely very severe, depending on the exact cause. Treatment usually involves knee support and physical therapy, but may also include surgery, particularly in athletes or physically active individuals.
Seeking professional help is very important to ensure accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment, and reduce the risk of further complications.