ACL Tears

What is the ACL?

- ACL Stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament

    • The ACL is one of 4 Ligaments that help stabilize the knee
    • Most used knee ligament
    • Key Stabilizer of the knee- it guides the Tibia through a normal stable range of motion.
    • ACL is a broad, thick cord the size of your index finger, with long collagen strands woven together in a way that allows it to withstand up to 500 lbs of force.

- ACL Injury

Most Commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops, jumping, or change of direction. 

    • EX: Basketball, Soccer, Football, Tennis, Volleyball Gymnastics
    • Many people will hear a "pop" when an ACL injury occurs
    • Most Commonly injured ligament in the knee
    • Two hundred thousand ACL injuries happen each year, and there are 100 thousand ACL reconstructions performed.
    • Approx 50 percent of ACL injuries occur in combination with meniscus injuries or other ligaments.

- ACL Injury Causes

    • Approx 70 percent of ACL injuries occur through non-contact mechanisms, and 30 percent come from direct contact with another player or object
    • Females are more prone to ACL injuries
    • ACL injuries usually occur during fitness activities that put stress on the knee
      • Cutting/Slowing
      • Change of direction
      • Pivoting
      • Landing Awkward from a jump
      • Sudden Stop
      • A direct blow to the knee
      • Once you have an ACL tear, the risk of re-tear on a previously repaired ACL is approximately 15 percent higher

- Torn ACL Symptoms

    • Popping sound at the time of injury
    • Knee Swelling within 6 hours of the injury
    • Pain- especially when you try to put weight on the injured leg
    • Knee giving our or unstable

- ACL Tests

    • The most commonly used test to determine if ACL has a tear

Lachman Test: 

This test is to evaluate the abnormal forward movement of the Tibia. 

      • The knee is held slightly bent (20-30 degrees), and the femur is stabilized in one hand while shifting the Tibia in the other; this allows the doctor to feel for an ACL tear.
    • Pivot Shift
      • Are performed in the operating room with the patient under anesthesia. The Pivot Shift Test will test the knee joint's abnormal motion when the ACL tear is present.
    • Drawer Test
      • The Drawer Test happens with the knee at a 90-degree angle. You Shift the Tibia forward and back to assess for an intact ACL by pulling forward and an intact PCL by pushing back.

- Treatments

    • If surgery is required, the ligament is not repaired but instead reconstructed.  
      • Usually, use a new ligament taken from the Patellar Tendon. Which is the Tendon that connects the quadriceps muscle to the Tibia or the Hamstring Tendon from the back of the knee or a donor
      • Surgery is a recommended option for Patients with ACL injuries
      • Surgery is usually delayed 3-4 weeks after an injury so the swelling and bleeding decrease
    • Goals of ACL Surgery
      • Restore as much stability as possible to the knee
      • Restore the same level of function as pre-injury
      • Limit the loss of operation of the knee
      • Prevent injury to other parts of the knee
      • Reduce Pain

- Rehab

    • After surgery, follow what the doctor says for your rehab
      • Most ACL surgery patients will start a rehab program that focuses on regaining range of motion and gradually bearing weight on the knee.
      • The rehab process's primary goal is to gain full flexion and extension of the knee joint and build balance and strength.

 

 

 

 

 

- ACL First Aid for right after injury

    • Rest the knee
    • Put ice or Space Ice Knee Wrap on it
    • Compression with the Space Ice Therapy Knee Wrap or any compression method
    • Elevate- try to keep your leg above heart level.