The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four main ligaments in the knee which provide stabilization for the knee joint. Torn ACLs are a common knee injury, especially for athletes or those who are very physically active. A torn or sprained ACL can happen with a sudden change in direction or pivot against a locked knee. Read on to learn more about the common symptoms of an ACL tear from top Celebration sports medicine clinic, Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute. If you’re in need of a knee surgeon in the Celebration area, call Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute today!
What Is A Torn ACL?
A torn anterior cruciate ligament, or torn ACL, consists of a second or third degree sprain of the ACL. The ACL comes from the front of the medial femoral condyle and passes through the middle of the knee to attach between the bony outcroppings (called the tibia spine) which are between the tibia plateaus. It is a small structure that is less than 1 ½ inches long and ½ inch wide. The anterior cruciate ligament is crucial in preventing the thighbone (femur) from sliding backward on the tibia. The ACL also assists in stabilizing the knee in rotation, which is the motion that happens when the foot is planted and the leg pivots. Without a normal ACL, the knee loses stability and can buckle, especially when the leg is planted and the person tries to stop or turn quickly. Top Celebration sports medicine clinic Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute notes that with an acute injury, the patient typically will hear a loud pop and then develop intense pain in the knee. This pain makes walking or weight-bearing extremely hard. The knee joint will start to swell within a few hours due to bleeding within the joint, which makes it hard to straighten the knee. If the knee is not treated, it will feel unstable and you may have recurrent pain and swelling, or of the knee giving way, especially if the ground is uneven or when they climb up and down steps.
Knee Surgeon Discusses Causes of a Torn ACL
The majority of anterior cruciate ligament injuries happen due to injury, typically in a sport or fitness activity. The ligament stretches or tears when the foot is planted firmly and the knee locks, twists, or pivots at the same time. These injuries are common in basketball, football soccer, and gymnastics, where a sudden change in direction stresses and damages the ligament. These injuries typically are noncontact, happen in low-speed situations, and as the body is decelerating. ACL injuries can also happen when the tibia is pushed forward in relation to the femur. An example of such a situation is a fall from skiing, or from a direct blow to the front of the knee in football when the foot is planted on the ground, or in a car accident. Women are typically more prone to ACL injuries than men, as the anatomy of women put them at slightly higher risk for such injuries. The intercondylar notch at the end of the femur is more narrow in women than men, so when the knee moves, this narrower space can pinch and weaken the ligament, for example.
Contact Us Today
If you have suffered an ACL tear, it’s important to consult with a knee surgeon. Call top Celebration sports medicine clinic Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute for an appointment today!