ACL is Anterior Cruciate Ligament. It is one of the most important ligaments in knees. This ligament is situated behind the kneecap. This ligament helps in giving stabilization in the knees. Besides ACL, there are other 3 ligaments in knees. They are PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), LCL (lateral collateral ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament). Many people suffer from ACL tear for which we have listed the symptoms and causes.
What is ACL Injury and how it is caused?
When ACL ligament is stretched over the limit, it causes an ACL injury. It is a very common knee problem found in both males and females. As per the reports, it is stated that women are affected more than men with ACL injury every year.
This disease is found in players of football, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics. It spreads at a low speed. When the tibia is pushed in the front, it meets with the femur and causes ACL Tear. It can also occur in people more of skiing. In addition to that, you can get ACL injury in severe car accidents.
People who get knee injuries often can be affected by this disease. It should be treated at the right time otherwise one can face severe knee and joint problems in the future.
Signs and symptoms of ACL injury
- The most common sign of ACL injury is the popping sound which comes from the knees.
- One can also get pain and inflammation due to an ACL injury.
- You can feel that the bones in the knees are becoming weaker day by day.
- Many people also find difficulty in lifting the heavy weight on the legs.
- Some people get unstable knees in this disease.
- One may get soreness in knee’s joint line.
- Some patients with an ACL injury cannot stand properly.
- One may get swelling in the knees.
- Some people cannot walk normally in case of ACL injury.
- One may not bend the knees while picking up something or sitting.
Why women get more ACL injury?
There are some reasons why women get more ACL injury than men. They are as under:
- The chances of the meeting of tibia and femur are more in women due to larger pelvis than men. This increases the risk of ACL injury.
- The intercondylar notch at the femur end is narrower in females than males. This space hurts with knee movement which leads to an ACL injury.
- The third reason is genetic differences. Muscles in women are more flexible than men. ACL in women do not get protection from hamstring muscles which increase the risk of ACL injury.
- One of the major reasons for ACL injury in women is the slow working of hamstrings.
How ACL injury is diagnosed?
There are different ways by which doctors will diagnose ACL injury: They are as follows:
X-ray is an uncommon method to diagnose ACL injuries but some doctors suggest seeing whether there are any broken bones.
- Physical tests
The next test to diagnose this injury is to ask the person to bend the hips or knees in some angles. If the bones move in an abnormal way, it is the symptom of ACL injury.
The third method is arthroscopy wherein the doctor will put a small tool in the joint. This tool has a lighting system and a lens. It will show the injury of your knee on the TV screen and your doctor will then suggest the treatment.
MRI is also used to diagnose an ACL injury.
How to treat ACL injury?
- You can use ice to alleviate the knee pain. Apart from that, you can raise your leg.
- One can also wrap an ace bandage around the knees to alleviate the pain.
- You can use crutches to avoid putting weight on the knees.
- The doctors will suggest some of the medications reduce pain and swelling of knees.
- One can also wear a brace on the knees while playing sports.
- You can do some muscle strengthening exercises and other physical tasks too.
- If the injury cannot be treated by the above methods, the doctor will remove ACL and place the tissue for doing normal activities.
An ACL tear can be prevented from an early age by doing some regular exercises, yoga and consuming healthy foods with vitamin D.