The knee, a pivotal joint in our body, is where the shin bone (tibia) meets the thigh bone (femur). This connection is fortified by four major ligaments:
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL): Located inside the knee, it prevents inward bending.
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL): Runs along the knee's outside, preventing outward bending.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): Situated centrally, it ensures the shin bone doesn't move ahead of the thigh bone.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL): Works in tandem with the ACL, preventing the shin bone from sliding under the femur.
Interestingly, women are more susceptible to ACL tears than men.
The ACL, central to our knee's function, ensures the shin bone doesn't move ahead of the thigh bone. ACL injuries can arise from various activities, including football tackles, abrupt direction changes, or incorrect landings from jumps. While some ACL injuries are partial, others are complete, often accompanied by damage to other ligaments or knee cartilage.
Causes of ACL Injury:
- Forceful blows to the knee's side, common in sports tackles.
- Overextending the knee.
- Abrupt halts or direction changes during activities like running or jumping.
- Sports like basketball, football, soccer, and skiing are notorious for ACL injuries.
- Often, ACL injuries coincide with tears in the MCL and the knee's shock-absorbing cartilage (meniscus).
- A distinctive "popping" sound during injury.
- Swelling within 6 hours post-injury.
- Pain, especially when bearing weight on the injured leg.
- Instability or a "giving way" sensation in the knee.
- Difficulty in continuing sports or regular activities.
If you suspect an ACL injury, it's crucial to consult a doctor and refrain from further physical activities. An MRI might be recommended to confirm the diagnosis and identify any other injuries. Immediate care for an ACL injury includes elevating the leg, applying ice, taking anti-inflammatory medicines, and considering supportive footwear like those from Dr Luigi to ensure proper foot alignment and reduce strain on the knee.