The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia. The knee is essentially a hinged joint that is held together by the medial collateral (MCL), lateral collateral (LCL), anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments. Ligament injuries in the knee - such as an anterior cruciate ligament - are faced mostly by professional and amateur athletes alike. They can be painful and debilitating and they can even permanently change your lifestyle. While an ACL injury or other ligament damage once ended the career of many an athlete, treatment has become much more successful. These injuries are common in soccer players, football players, basketball players, skiers, gymnasts, and other athletes. ACL injury and other ligament injuries can be caused by: twisting your knee with the foot planted, getting hit on the knee, extending the knee too far, jumping and landing on a flexed knee, stopping suddenly when running and suddenly shifting weight from one leg to the other. If you tear the anterior cruciate ligament in your knee, you may need to have reconstructive surgery. The anterior cruciate ligament is a tough band of tissue joining the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint. It runs diagonally through the inside of the knee and gives the knee joint stability. This is an outpatient procedure. While the operation only takes one to one and a half hours, between checking in and the anaesthesia and the recovery time, plan on spending three to four hours at the hospital.
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