Have you ever heard of an ACL injury? If you’re an athlete or enjoy physical activities, you may have already experienced or at least heard about this type of injury. Understanding the anatomy of an ACL injury can help you prevent it, and in case you do experience one, it can also help you understand what’s happening in your body and how to treat it properly.
So, what is an ACL injury? An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury is a common and potentially debilitating knee injury that can occur during sports, exercise, or unusually hard activities. Understanding the anatomy of an ACL injury, including its causes, diagnosis, and treatment options, is critical for athletes, coaches, and medical professionals. In this article, we will explore the anatomy of the knee joint, the causes, and the possible treatment options for ACL injuries. Just read on!
6 Major Causes of ACL Injury
ACL injuries are common, especially among athletes who participate in sports that require a lot of jumping, cutting, or pivoting. Here are 6 major causes of ACL injuries.
1. Hard Sports Activities
Sports that require sudden stops and rapid changes in the body’s directional movements can cause ACL injuries. For instance, basketball players who stop quickly or pivot on their feet are at high risk of sustaining an ACL injury.
2. Jumping and Landing Incorrectly
Athletes who participate in sports that involve jumping and landing, such as gymnastics and volleyball, are also at risk of ACL injuries. Landing incorrectly from a jump or putting too much pressure on the knee joint can cause an ACL injury.
3. Immediate Collision or Contact Injuries
Contact injuries, such as being tackled or hit while playing sports, can also cause ACL injuries. For example, a football player who is tackled from the side may sustain an ACL injury due to the force of the hit on the knee joint.
4. Overuse or Repetitive Strain
Overuse or repetitive strain can also cause an ACL injury. Athletes who participate in sports that require a lot of running or jumping may develop an ACL injury due to the repetitive strain on the knee joint.
5 Ways to Treat An ACL Injury Effectively
An ACL injury can be a painful and frustrating experience. However, with proper treatment, it is possible to recover and get back to your normal activities. Here are some common treatments for an ACL injury:
- Rest and Ice
The first step in treating an ACL injury is to rest and ice the affected knee. This can help to reduce swelling and pain in the knee joint. You can also elevate your leg and use compression bandages to treat the common swelling.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is another best option that you can try out for the treatment of an ACL injury. A physical therapist can help you to strengthen your knee muscles around your joint and improve your range of motion.
- Try Bracing
Wearing a knee brace can help to support the knee joint and minimize the risk of additional harm. Moreover, a brace can also provide stability to the knee joint and help you to resume your normal activities.
- Take Proper Medications
Painkiller medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are effectively used for treating the pain and inflammation in the knee joint. However, doctors can also prescribe stronger medications depending on the severity of an injury. But be sure to use any medicine on the recommendation of the doctor only.
- Surgery in Case If the Injury is Severe
When an individual suffers a torn ACL, surgery may be necessary to reconstruct or repair the affected area. Typically, arthroscopy is utilized, which involves using small incisions and a miniature camera to examine and repair the damage to the knee joint. After the procedure, physical therapy is recommended to assist with the recovery process, enabling the patient to regain strength and restore normal function to the knee joint.
- Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine is a relatively new yet another great approach to treating ACL injuries. This involves using your body’s own healing processes to repair the damaged ligament. Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy are two common regenerative medicine treatments for ACL injuries.
There are several treatment options for an ACL injury, including rest and ice, physical therapy, bracing, medications, surgery, and regenerative medicine. The appropriate treatment will depend on the severity of your injury and your overall health. With proper treatment and care, most people with an ACL injury can make a full recovery and return to their normal activities.
Your premier Orthopedic Surgeon in Lubbock, TX, Dr. Kevin Crawford, specializes in minimally invasive procedures and has experience with arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the shoulder, ACL, shoulder, knee, and elbow with an emphasis on cutting-edge orthopedic methods.
If you suffer from sports injuries, contact Dr. Kevin Crawford, Sports Medicine Doctor in Lubbock, TX. Sports injuries can range from sprained ankles to chronic knee pain and more. Follow Dr. Crawford on Facebook.
By Dr. Kevin Crawford, Lubbock Sports Medicine Doctor, and Orthopedic Surgeon.
Here’s to your health!
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