Know About Knee Pain due (ACL) Anterior Cruciate Ligament Torn
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the ligaments inside the knee joint. It runs diagonally connecting the anterior (front) of the tibia to the posterior (back) of the femur. This ligament helps to stabilise the knee joint by controlling backward and forward movements of the knee. It stops the tibia bone from moving forwards in front of the femur.
An ACL injury is a sprain, in which the ligament is torn or stretched beyond its normal range. In almost all cases, when the ACL is torn, it’s almost always due to at least one of the following patterns of injury:
ACL Torn Symtoms – Know About It
- A sudden stop, twist, pivot or change in direction at the knee joint. These knee movements are a routine part of football, basketball, soccer, rugby, gymnastics and skiing. For this reason, athletes who participate in these sports have an especially high risk of ACL tears.
- Extreme hyperextension of the knee. Sometimes, during athletic jumps and landings, the knee straightens out more than it should and extends beyond its normal range of motion, causing an ACL tear. This type of ACL injury often occurs because of a missed dismount in gymnastics or an awkward landing in basketball.
- Direct contact. The ACL may be injured during contact sports, usually during direct impact to the outside of the knee or lower leg. Examples are a sideways football tackle, a misdirected soccer kick that strikes the knee or a sliding tackle in soccer.
Diagnose ACL Torn
Your doctor will check for stability, movement, and tenderness in both the injured and uninjured knee. You may need imaging tests, such as an MRI. An MRI can show damage to ligaments, tendons , muscles, and knee cartilage.
Types of ACL Injuries
An ACL injury is classified as a grade 1, 2, or 3 sprain.
Grade 1 ACL Sprain
- The fibers of the ligament are stretched, but there is no tear.
- There is a little tenderness and swelling.
- The knee does not feel unstable or give out during activity.
Grade 2 ACL Sprain
- The fibers of the ligament are partially torn.
- There is a little tenderness and moderate swelling.
- The joint may feel unstable or give out during activity.
Grade 3 ACL Sprain
- The fibers of the ligament are completely torn (ruptured); the ligament itself has torn completely into two parts.
- There is tenderness (but not a lot of pain, especially when compared to the seriousness of the injury). There may be a little swelling or a lot of swelling.
- The ligament cannot control knee movements. The knee feels unstable or gives out at certain times.
Treatments of ACL Torn
Your treatment will depend on the grade of the ACL injury and how much of the ACL is torn, whether other parts of the knee are injured, how active you are, your age, your overall health, and how long ago the injury occurred.
There are 3 Main Treatment for Grade 1, 2 or 3 ACL Sprain:
- KNEE BRACE: Make the knee stable if it is unsteady, or at least make it stable enough to do your daily activities.
- PHYSIOTHERAPY: Make your knee strong enough to do all the activities you used to do.
- AVOID SPORTS: Reduce the chance that your knee will be damaged more.
ACL Torn– Is Surgical Repair Required
Treatment for Grade 3 ACL Sprain
Surgery may be used for those needing to return to sports that involve pivoting and jumping. Once swelling subsides, the torn ACL may be reconstructed surgically using either a piece of your own tissue (autograft) or a piece of donor tissue (allograft). When an autograft is done, the surgeon usually replaces your torn ACL with a portion of your own patellar tendon (tendon below the kneecap) or a section of tendon taken from a large leg muscle. Currently, almost all knee reconstructions are done using arthroscopic surgery, which uses smaller incisions and causes less scarring than traditional open surgery.
If you are suffering from this problem, it is better to consult with our Doctors at Singapore Sports Orthopaedics Clinic.