ACL is a short name of anterior cruciate ligament which is an important ligament providing stability to our knee joint out of four ligaments ACL is the most important one. It is made of tough material with main function to control all the knee motions, but ACL ligament can get injured or teared. Out of all four ligaments injury in this ligament very much problematic and painful. ACL is also known as sports injury as ACL tear can occur when there is forceful landing.
Especially female athletes are at higher risk of this ligament injury due to biomechanism, strength of muscle and hormones. Once ACL ligament get injured or teared knee get unstable hence movements are affected.
High Risk Sports—
ACL injuries occurs in all these sports due to sudden turns landing with force, so many time sports person have to go for surgery in order to continue playing.
Symptoms of ACL—
Symptoms of ACL injury can differ from person to person, but there can be swelling in the knee and knee gets unstable and on putting weight there is severe pain.
> Popping sound in knee
> Too much pain and problem in moving
> Swelling and inflammation
> Loss of all major movements
> Knee is unable to bear weight
Causes of ACL—
ACL ligaments are made of strong tissues it is one of two ligaments that crosses the middle of the knee connecting femur with tibia, its main task is to stabilize our knee joint. Main cause of this injury during any sports activity, sudden stopping and changing direction, incorrect landing from jump, stopping forcefully, a direct hit on the knee joint, colliding with player like in football, forceful and sudden spinning of foot.
Women have more tendencies to have ACL tear as compare to men even in the same sports. Main reason is kind of imbalance in the thighs as the quadriceps are much more strong than the hamstring. Researches show even the jumping and landing techniques of women in sports is different than that of men. In women stress on knees are more than men, so they are on risk of more ACL injuries, Better training techniques to strengthen the main muscle of legs, thighs, hips, lower leg also with better technique of jumping and landing can reduce the risk of ACL injuries.
The diagnose of ACL injury is done by expert physiotherapist or a sports doctor by doing various test specially MRI scans to confirm the tear and injury in ACL, diagnosing is also important to check for another knee injuries like meniscus tear in combination with ACL tear. After diagnose a physiotherapist designs an ACL rehabilitation program that includes strengthening of our core muscles, increasing balance in our body with an aim to reduce pain and inflammation in knee joint. A Physiotherapic treatment of ACL injuries aim to
1. Lessen the pain, inflammation and swelling in the knee joint.
2. Enhancing various movements of knee joints
3. Strengthening quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
4. Improving flexibility of lower limb like calves muscles, hip and pelvis muscles.
5. Enhancing the alignment of knee cap in joint.
6. Increasing the endurance and flexibility in muscles especially the core one.
7. Working on flexibility and balance issue of body.
8. Suggesting various exercises, techniques of walking, running, squatting, jumping and landing.
9. Reduces the chances of reoccurrence of ACL injury with the help of various strengthening and stretching exercises.
If a person even after physiotherapy still feels pain and instability of knee joint then the only alternate left is aggressive one means surgery. Then a person should consult a surgeon for a repair of ACL so that he/she can return to sports activity at the earliest even after the surgery expert physiotherapist can help a sportsperson with a better rehabilitation process.