ACL Injury Diagnosis and Repair
Arizona Orthopedic Surgery Solutions for ACL Injury Diagnosis and Repair
What is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)?
A frequent knee injury is a sprain or tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). High-energy and high-impact sports athletes suffer injuries to the ACL the most. An individual’s activity level and grade of injury will determine the needed recovery procedure. The knee is made up of three bones, the femur, tibia, and patella, or thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap. All bones are attached to other bones via ligaments. The main ligaments of the knee are the collateral ligaments and cruciate ligaments. The collateral ligaments are located on the sides of the knee while the cruciate ligaments, such as the ACL, are located inside of the knee. The anterior cruciate is in the front while the posterior cruciate is in the back. Both of these ligaments control the front to back motion of the knee. The ACL is located in the center of the knee at a slight diagonal angle. The ACL is what keeps the tibia from slipping up in front of the femur. Additionally, the ACL maintains revolving steadiness for the knee. Most ACL injuries impact articular cartilage, meniscus, and other ligaments, but not always. A ligament injury is known as a sprain and graded on a scale from one to three. A Grade One sprain involves minimal stretching of the ligament, however the ligament is still able to maintain the joint’s stability. A Grade Two sprain is when the ligament is stretched and is unable to maintain stability, known as a partial tear. A Grade Three sprain, known as a complete tear, is when a ligament has been stretched and ripped into two parts, no longer maintaining stability of the knee joint. Most ACL tears are complete or almost complete tears, with partial ACL tears being uncommon. An ACL injury normally occurs when directions are changed to quickly, abrupt stops occur, landing from a high impact jump awkwardly, and even decelerating while running. High impact crash, such as a body check in hockey or a forceful hit in football can injure an ACL as well.