A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is a common injury in people involved in sports. Any activity that involves sudden stops, jumping or sudden changes in direction have a chance of causing a tear in the ACL. Here is a look at some of the causes, symptoms, and treatment for the ACL injury.
Causes of the ACL injury:
While the ACL injury is common in sportspersons, it can occur in others as well, due to sudden or excessive stain on the knee region. Common causes include-
- Suddenly slowing your pace and changing directions.
- Improper landing after a jump
- Suddenly stopping movement
- A direct and forceful blow to the knees, which is common in some sports, such as football, rugby, etc.
In some cases, the injury is mild enough to simply strain the ligament. However, a tear results when the force of impact on the ligament is high intensity.
Symptoms of the ACL injury:
- A click or popping sensation in the knees during movement
- Extreme pain, which forces the patient to stop the strenuous activity
- Limited range of motion
- Swelling in the knee region
- Loss of balance when weight is put on the injured leg
Treatment for ACL injury:
- Minor injuries can be treated with an ice pack. Rest can also alleviate the pain associated with such an injury.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed if there is considerable swelling and pain
- A knee brace is often required for people who intend to play sports despite an injury to the ACL.
- Physical therapy and exercises devised to strengthen the knee may also be effective in curing the condition.
- A severely torn ACL needs to be replaced using surgical procedure. People undergoing this surgery can often return to sports in a year or so.
In case of ACL injuries, prevention is often better than the cure. If you are into sports, make sure you exercise your knees and legs regularly, so that they are able to withstand the intense pressure put on them.
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