Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
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Ligaments are tough bands of connective tissues that connect one bone to another. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is located in the center of the knee and extends diagonally from the end of the thigh bone (femur) down to the shinbone (tibia). The ACL is responsible for stabilizing the shinbone so that it has a full range of movement, and is made up of two bundles of tissues which crisscross inside the knee, namely the anteromedial and posterolateral bundles. The two bundles work together to allow the knee and the shinbone to move in a range of directions.
ACL tears normally occur when a person suddenly changes direction or turns heavily on the knee, such as when playing football, when landing from a basketball jump, or from falling down when skiing. Common symptoms of a torn ACL are as follows:
Patients who suffer a torn ACL require treatment to prevent further damage to the knee and reduce the risk of subsequent knee injuries. Generally, treatment options for an ACL tear are divided into surgical and non-surgical forms of treatment.
Patients should use this method in order to train the joints and muscles around the knee so that it can move as before, and should exercise using range-of-motion techniques to strengthen the knee as quickly as possible, with the aim of returning the knee to its normal functioning. When the patient's symptoms have improved and the injured knee has increased in strength, the doctor will examine the knee again to assess whether the patient can perform certain physical activities, and at what level of intensity. If the patient is still unable to use his or her knee as before, then the patient must reduce his or her level of physical activity. If the knee does not recover naturally using this method, then the patient may need to undergo reconstructive surgery.
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Sports injuries include a few common injuries that both professional athletes and everyday people come across.