An introduction to anterior crutiate ligament injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament injury An ACL tear is one of the most common knee injuries, with overtears occurring annually in the US. Most ACL tears are a result of a non-contact mechanism such as a sudden change in a direction causing the knee to rotate inward. As the knee rotates inward additional strain is placed on the ACL, since the femur and tibia, which are the two bones that articulate together forming the knee joint, move in opposite directions causing the ACL to tear. Most athletes will require reconstructive surgery on the ACL, in which the torn or ruptured ACL is completely removed and replaced with a piece of tendon or ligament tissue from the patient autograft or from a donor allograft.

An introduction to anterior crutiate ligament injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament injury An ACL tear is one of the most common knee injuries, with overtears occurring annually in the US. Most ACL tears are a result of a non-contact mechanism such as a sudden change in a direction causing the knee to rotate inward. As the knee rotates inward additional strain is placed on the ACL, since the femur and tibia, which are the two bones that articulate together forming the knee joint, move in opposite directions causing the ACL to tear.

Most athletes will require reconstructive surgery on the ACL, in which the torn or ruptured ACL is completely removed and replaced with a piece of tendon or ligament tissue from the patient autograft or from a donor allograft.

Conservative treatment has poor outcomes in ACL injury since the ACL is unable to form a fibrous clot as it receives most of its nutrients from the synovial fluid which washes away the reparative cells making it difficult for new fibrous tissue to form.

The two most common sources for tissue are the patellar ligament and the hamstrings tendon. The patellar ligament is often used, since bone plugs on each end of the graft are extracted which helps integrate the graft into the bone tunnels, during reconstruction. The surgery is arthroscopic, meaning that a tiny camera is inserted through a small surgical cut.

The camera sends video to a large monitor so that the surgeon can see any damage to the ligaments. In the event of an autograft, the surgeon will make a larger cut to get the needed tissue. Once the graft is pulled through the bone tunnels, two screws are placed into the tibial and femoral bone tunnel.

Recovery time ranges between one and two years or longer, depending if the patient chose an autograft or allograft.

An introduction to anterior crutiate ligament injuries

This is dangerous as some athletes start resuming some of their activities such as jogging which, with a wrong move or twist, could damage the bones as the graft has not completely become integrated into the bone tunnels.

It is important for the injured athlete to understand the significance of each step of an ACL injury to avoid complications and ensure a proper recovery. Non-operative treatment of the ACL[ edit ] The ACL can be treated non operatively with strengthening and rehabilitation when the ACL is not completely torn and the knee is still stable or if the patient is not doing activities requiring cutting and pivoting or similar actions.

The mainstay of ACL non-operative treatment is strengthening of the muscles around the knee, especially the hamstrings. Focused therapy supervised by a physical therapist can be an effective way to accomplish this. Graft choice could be confusing, requiring expert counseling from a doctor.

Revision ACL surgery will often take nine months to more than a year. During this time, the physical therapist should guide the patient through the rehabilitation process.

The early rehab, usually lasting around six weeks, focuses on maintaining full knee motion and preventing scar tissue. The second phase of rehab is directed toward regaining knee strength.

Basic science of anterior cruciate ligament injury and repair

Finally, activity-specific rehabilitation is administered. The rehabilitation program can also be composed of aggressive motions and weight-bearing exercises.

One study found that children under 14 who had ACL reconstruction fared better after early surgery than those who underwent a delayed surgery. But for adults 18 to 35, patients who underwent early surgery followed by rehabilitation fared no better than those who had rehabilitative therapy and a later surgery.

ACL injuries in children are a challenge because children have open growth plates in the bottom of the femur or thigh bone and on the top of the tibia or shin. An ACL reconstruction will typically cross the growth plates, posing a theoretical risk of injury to the growth plate, stunting leg growth or causing the leg to grow at an unusual angle.

Times piece focused on adults. It found no significant statistical difference in performance and pain outcomes for patients who receive early ACL reconstruction vs. This would suggest that many patients without instability, buckling or giving way after a course of rehabilitation can be managed non-operatively.

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However, the study points to the need for more extensive research, was limited to outcomes after two years and did not involve patients who were serious athletes.

The randomized control study was originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Current research attributes this finding to multiple factors that are still being studied.

The synovial joint through which the anterior cruciate ligament passes, along with the length of the anterior cruciate ligament, is significantly smaller in women than in men.

This makes it more susceptible to damage since the ACL is exposed to a higher level of strain in comparison to men. Along with these aspects, women tend to use their quadriceps muscle more often than their hamstring muscles which place additional strain on the ACL.

Women also more commonly land with their knees bent inward when landing after a jump, adding more strain on the ACL to maintain stability in the knee. In addition, the quadriceps angle, or Q-angle, between the anterior superior iliac spine and patellar ligament may contribute to the predisposition of ACL tears, as female often have wider hips compared to males.

There is some evidence that suggests since women are known to have larger Q-angles than their male counterparts, causing their knee to already be bent inward making them more susceptible to ACL tears.One of the more common injuries that studies seem to focus more of their attention on is Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries.

Women seem to be more susceptible than men to these ACL injuries because of hormonal differences, structural differences, musculature differences, and mechanical differences (Hirst, Armeau & Parish, ). The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a key structure in the knee joint, as it resists anterior tibial translation and rotational loads.

It is one of the most frequently injured structures during high impact or sporting activities.[2]. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Mechanism of Injury. The ACL is usually torn as a result of a quick deceleration, hyperextension or rotational injury that usually does .

1. Introduction. There has been an intensive research effort directed at determining the cause of non-contact anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) injury over the past decade. 1 In view of this, it is surprising that few studies have reported data on the incidence of ACL and other knee ligament injury in the general population or in a sporting population.

A comprehensive descriptive epidemiology. If you tear the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in your knee, you may need to have reconstructive surgery. The ACL is a tough band of tissue joining the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Anatomy. The ACL controls anterior movement of the tibia and inhibits extreme ranges of tibial rotation. The majority of authorities believe that the ACL consists of 2.

Anterior cruciate ligament - Wikipedia