ACL injuries are common among athletes. ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament. This type of injury refers to the tearing or over-stretching of the anterior cruciate ligament located in the knee. The tear in this part of the body can be partial or complete.
Ligament connecting the knee
There are four main ligaments which connect the femur and the tibia which are as follows:
– Medial collateral ligament or MCL. This ligament runs along the inner side of the knee which prevents the knee from crumbling or bending in.
– Lateral collateral ligament or LCL. This ligament runs along the outer portion of the knee and is aimed at preventing the knee from bending outside.
– Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. This ligament runs in the middle of the knee and prevents the tibia from sliding in front of the femur.
– Posterior cruciate ligament or PCL. This ligament works hand in hand with the ACL and prevents the tibia from sliding backwards under the thigh bone.
According to studies conducted by medical researchers, women are more susceptible to have an ACL injury compared to men. What could be the cause for this much debated topic? This has not yet really come to terms among medical practitioners.
Among the causes of an ACL injury are the following:
– Getting hit very hard on the side of the knee during physical games like football.
– Overextending of the knee joint.
– Immediately stopping from movement or changing direction quickly while running, turning or landing from a high jump.
Sports activities like football, basketball, skiing and soccer are some of the common sports that are usually linked to ACL injuries. ACL related injuries also occur with other types of injuries. For example, an ACL injury or tear occurs along with MCL tears and a tear in the shock-absorbing cartilage located in the knee known as the lateral meniscus. Most of the ACL injuries are observed in the middle of the ligament. The ligament is also often pulled high to the thigh bone. These types of injuries form a gap between the edges that are torn and do not have the capacity to heal on their own.