Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeEditor PicksWhat Is The Acl In The Knee

What Is The Acl In The Knee

Symptoms Of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

What is the ACL and How Does it Work? – ACL Series

If you injure your ACL, you may hear a popping sound and feel pain in your knee. Your knee may feel unstable and give way , and you may not be able to bear weight on it. If youre playing sport, youre unlikely to be able to carry on you wont be able to walk on it. Youll quickly develop swelling around your knee joint within an hour or two of injuring it. And you may lose the full range of movement in your knee.

Physiotherapy For Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Making sure you follow any physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme youre given will be an important part of your recovery. The aim of physiotherapy is to help your knee recover its full range of movement, its strength and stability, and return to normal function. Your physiotherapist will carefully assess your knee and then plan a programme of rehabilitation exercises to suit your individual needs. The physiotherapy programme will be designed to give you the best chance of returning to your usual activity.

About Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The ACL passes in front of another ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament . The cruciate ligaments get their name from the fact they form a cross within the knee as they run in different directions from the thigh to the shin bone. Along with the other ligaments in your knee, your ACL keeps your knee stable and prevents your thigh and shin bones moving out of place.

When your knee ligaments are stretched but not torn, theyre called a sprain. Knee ligament injuries are given different grades depending on how severe they are. Around half of all people with an ACL injury will have injuries to other parts of their knee as well, such as a meniscus tear.

Recommended Reading: What Do You Do For Water On The Knee

What Is The Function Of The Acl

Howdo ACL tears occur – and why might it be the case thatskiing-related tears of the ACL in the knee occur disproportionately after 2pm?

The anterior cruciate ligament connects the femur to the tibia and stabilize the knee join. The ACL resists anterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur it also resists rotation.

Thecruciate ligaments are named according to their attachment on the tibia: theACL courses from the posterior aspect of the intercondylar notch on the femurand inserts on the anterior tibial plateau. The PCL courses from a moreanterior position in the femoral notch to the posterior aspect of the proximaltibia. The term cruciate refers to the fact that these ligaments cross eachother .

What Does The Acl Do

Surgical treatment options for an ACL injury  Chuba Oyolu ...

Perhaps the most important ligament in the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament . It is no bigger than your little finger and runs from the front of your shinbone to the back of your thighbone . The ACL has several functions:

  • It provides stability to the knee when twisting or turning.
  • It prevents the tibia from moving forward relative to the femur.
  • It is crucial to activities that require quick cutting and pivoting.

Read Also: Can You Use An Inversion Table After Knee Replacement

What Is An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone. The ACL keeps the knee stable.

Injuries range from mild, such as a small tear, to severe, such as when the ligament tears completely or when the ligament and part of the bone separate from the rest of the bone.

Without treatment, the injured ACL is less able to control knee movement, and the bones are more likely to rub against each other. This is called chronic ACL deficiency. The abnormal bone movement can also damage the tissue that covers the ends of the bones and can trap and tear the pads that cushion the knee joints. This damage can lead to osteoarthritis.

Sometimes other knee ligaments or parts of the knee are also injured. This includes cartilage such as the menisci, or bones in the knee joint, which can be broken.

What Happens During An Acl Reconstruction

ACL reconstruction is usually done by keyhole or arthroscopic surgery, meaning its carried out through several small cuts into your knee. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will make these cuts in the skin over your knee. Theyll use an arthroscope a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end of it to see inside your knee.

The surgery involves replacing your torn ligament with a graft, which your surgeon will take first. The graft is usually a piece of tendon from another part of your knee, for example:

  • hamstrings, which are tendons at the back of your thigh
  • the patellar tendon, which holds your kneecap in place

Sometimes, a graft from a donor may be used. This is called an allograft and will be collected before your surgery. You can find out more about grafts used in ACL reconstruction in our FAQs below.

Your surgeon will then drill a tunnel through your upper shin bone and lower thigh bone. Theyll thread the graft in through the tunnel and fix it in place, usually with screws or staples. Before finishing the operation, your surgeon will make sure there is enough tension on the graft and that you have full range of movement in your knee. Then theyll close the cuts with stitches or adhesive strips.

Your operation will usually last between one and three hours.

Don’t Miss: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare

How Is Allograft Reconstruction Of Acl

The physician identifies the potential donor. The donor needs to undergo physical examinations as well as blood tests to rule out any underlying conditions. Tissues or grafts can be taken from the donor site in sterilized conditions.

Next, the physician sterilizes the issue by soaking the tissue in antibiotic solution and freeze-dries it for preservation.

The freeze-dried tissue is thawed, which then undergoes the following steps:

  • Revascularization: Restoration of blood supply
  • Cell repopulation: Increase in the number of cells
  • Remodeling: Changing the structure of the grafts to match the recipients ACL

Once the remodeling is complete, the grafts appear similar to the recipients ACL. The remodeled graft is used to repair the ACL-deficient knee.

What Is An Mcl Tear

What Is ACL (knee ligament) and What Does It Do? | Expert Explains

The MCL, or medial collateral ligament, runs long the inside of your knee and keeps the joint from over-extending. It also connects your shin to your thigh bone. Athletes who play high-contact sports like football or hockey may injure the MCL when colliding with another player. The MCL is often injured when the outer knee is hit very hard, causing strain on the inner knee.

When the knee is twisted, bent, or pushed to the side in an unnatural way, the ligament will stretch and result in a partial or full tear. You may hear a popping sound, followed by pain and swelling along the inside of the knee.

You May Like: Regrow Cartilage Naturally

What Is An Acl What Does Acl Stand For

ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, and its one of the four primary ligaments in your knee. Your knee joint has three bones that come together: your femur , tibia , and your patella . Your kneecap is not unlike Captain Americas shield, there to protect the joint by sitting in front of it and guarding against injury. The other two bones are connected by an intricate system of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, which act as sturdy ropes holding your bones in alignment and keeping your knee joint stable. The ligaments are of two different types.

What Is An Acl Tear

An ACL knee injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament is overstretched, usually by the knee bending backwards too far or twisting awkwardly. These can result in:

  • Partial ACL Tear: where only some of the ligament fibres are torn or
  • ACL Rupture: where the ligament tears completely

The ligament can be stretched just under 2mm before it will tear. In some cases, nearby structures such as the cartilage and medial collateral ligament may also be damaged at the same time.

Don’t Miss: How To Lighten Your Knees Overnight

Orthoses For The Head

Helmets are an example of orthoses for the head.

Orthotists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the provision of orthoses. In the United States, orthotists work by prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Physical therapists are not legally authorized to prescribe orthoses in the U.S. In the U.K., orthotists will often accept open referrals for orthotic assessment without a specific prescription from doctors or other healthcare professionals.

Sports Ability After An Acl Tear

ACL: Structure and Function

Athletes often have difficulty after experiencing an ACL injury. Sports like soccer, football, and basketball rely on your ACL to perform common maneuvers such as cutting, pivoting, and sudden turns.

For this reason, athletes often choose to undergo surgery in order to return to their previous level of competition.

Read Also: Do Copper Knee Braces Really Work

How Is An Acl Tear Diagnosed

In order to determine the cause of your symptoms and the extent of the injury, your doctor will ask you questions and perform a physical examination. X-rays are helpful in viewing the bony anatomy of the knee and can confirm or eliminate a diagnosis.

After your doctor has conducted the examination, he or she may recommend that you undergo more diagnostic tests, such as an MRI scan. An MRI allows your specialist to clearly see the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the knee. This information helps him or her formulate a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament Definition And Facts

  • The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four ligaments in the knee that provides stabilization for the knee joint.
  • Torn ACLs are a common knee injury.
  • An ACL tear or sprain occurs with a sudden change in direction or pivot against a locked knee.
  • A pop, followed by pain and swelling of the knee are the most common symptoms of an ACL tear.
  • Women are more likely to tear their ACL because of differences in anatomy and muscle function.
  • Treatment goals are to return the patient to his or her preinjury level of function. Arthroscopic surgery may be required to reconstruct the torn ligament.
  • It may take six to nine months to return to normal activity after an ACL injury.

Don’t Miss: Do Compression Sleeves Help With Knee Pain

Are There Any Alternatives To Surgery

The physiotherapist can give you exercises to strengthen and improve the co-ordination of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles in your thigh.

Wearing a knee brace can sometimes help if your knee only gives way while you are playing sports.

Various anaesthetic techniques are possible.

The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes.

Your surgeon will make one or more cuts around your knee. Most surgeons perform the operation by an arthroscopy , using a camera to see inside your knee.

Your surgeon will replace the ACL with a piece of suitable tissue from another area of your body.

The top and bottom ends of the replacement ligament are fixed with special screws or anchors into holes drilled in the bone.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

ACL Tear – Testing Your Knee BEFORE it Happens!
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
Arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction . The tendon of the was prelevated, folded and used as an . It appears through the remnant of the injured original ACL . The autograft then courses upwardly and backwardly in front of the .
Other names

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is a replacement of the , located in the , to restore its function after . The torn can either be removed from the knee , or preserved before reconstruction an procedure. ACL repair is also a surgical option. This involves repairing the ACL by re-attaching it, instead of performing a reconstruction. Theoretical advantages of repair include faster recovery and a lack of donor site morbidity, but randomised controlled trials and long-term data regarding re-rupture rates using contemporary surgical techniques are lacking.

Recommended Reading: Traveling After Knee Replacement

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears


The anterior cruciate ligament is a thick band of tissue which has two major strands that extend from the lower leg bone to the thigh bone . This ligament is very important for maintaining stability of the knee. When it is injured or torn the patient feels the instability of the knee when they turn or pivot. This instability is particularly problematic when participating in pivoting sports such as soccer and football. The ligament sits just in front of its counterpart, the posterior cruciate ligament, directly in the middle of the knee joint.

Mechanism of Injury

Usually the patient will feel a sudden pop in their knee immediately in injury to the knee. Surprisingly, sometimes the knee will not get very swollen, although it certainly can. The injury is often missed because the physical examination requires some experience and training. It might actually be easily missed in the initial stages.

Natural History of the Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament


Physical Examination

Associated injuries are always assessed for at the same time. Joint line tenderness representing torn cartilage and tenderness over the lateral knee which may reflect tearing of the collateral ligaments. ODonohues terrible triad injury involves not only the ACL, but also the medial meniscus and the medial collateral ligament. It is unfortunately fairly common.


Surgical Treatment Options

Risks, Complications and Alternatives to Surgery

Long Term Prognosis

What Is Anterior Knee Instability

Anterior means front or ventral, therefore, anterior knee instability refers to the knee that feels unstable at the front of the knee. Anterior knee instability can make typical activities of daily living and sports impossible to execute. These types of knees may give way, or not properly hold ones weight. There may also be pain that is felt in the front of the knee with movement. Knee instability can occur after a torn or ruptured ACL. If the ACL is torn, patients who experience anterior knee instability may need to treat the injury with a brace, physical therapy, rest, ice, and NSAIDs .

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Limping After Knee Surgery

What Is The Anterior Cruciate Ligament

The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tough, fibrous connective tissue in the middle of the human knee joint. It is one of four main ligaments in the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is connected to both the tibia, or shin bone, and the femur, or thigh bone.

Three other ligaments also connect to the tibia and femur. The medial collateral ligament runs along the inside of the knee joint and prevents it from bending inward. The lateral collateral ligament runs along the outside of the knee joint and stops the knee joint from bending outward. The posterior cruciate ligament works in conjunction with the ACL and prevents the tibia from moving out of alignment and sliding backward under the femur.

The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments cross over one another inside the knee. The anterior and posterior ligaments are responsible for maintaining the correct anatomical position of the femur and tibia. Another function of the anterior cruciate ligament is to allow stable rotation of the knee joint. If this ligament sustains an injury such as a tear, the knee joint becomes far less stable.

What To Look For

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

The signs and symptoms of an ACL injury are not always the same, so it is important to see a healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:

  • Knee pain or swelling that lasts more than 48 hours
  • Trouble standing or walking on the affected knee
  • Inability to support your weight on the affected knee
  • A deformed or odd appearance of one side of your knee

With an ACL tear, your joint will be unstable and have a tendency to give out. This can occur when you are participating in sports or even with simple movements like walking or getting into a car.

Don’t Miss: Why Does My Knee Stiffen Up After Sitting

Mcl Tear Treatment Options

The good news is an athlete who suffers an MCL tear will be able to return to playing their sport of preference. Its also good to know most MCL injuries heal on their own.

The injured person should also follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation of the knee. And although the need for surgery is unlikely, you should still go to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

What Is An Acl Knee Injury

Many footballers suffer from ACL knee injuries through their careers, Credits: Pxfuel

The knee contains a ligament which is known as Anterior Cruciate Ligament. The functions of an ACL include stabilising the knee and keeping the shin bone in position. When the anterior cruciate ligament is damaged, the condition is known as ACL knee injury. It occurs due to external activities.

Females are more likely to suffer from ACL tears because of the female anatomy. The positioning of the hips and narrow femoral space makes ACL tears more common in women. A massage gun is helpful in certain NDIS patient to recover quicker from their physio treatment.

Female athletes are more likely to suffer from acl injuries, Credits: Pikist

You May Like: Water On The Knee Cause


Popular Articles