Training Time: ACL injuries
Training Time with Max Benton
This information should not be used as diagnosis of a particular condition and is intended only to be informative. If you are experiencing symptoms of any kind, please consult a doctor.
From the rec leagues to the pros, an ACL injury can end a season and put an athlete on the long road to recovery. In any sports, where changing direction while moving is important, problems with an ACL are hard to overcome.
WHAT IS IT?:
To begin, the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, provides stability for sports, such as basketball, tennis, or skiing where an athlete uses rotational movement (changing directions while moving). In fact, it provides 90% of stability to the knee joint. It is the smallest of the four main ligaments in the knee, but it is the main stabilizer for rotational movement. Ligaments, like the ACL, connect bone-to-bone, and the ACL connects the femur (thighbone) with the tibia (shinbone). Without the ACL, the knee would be unstable and would dislocate during activities with any amount of twisting.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?:
Generally, quick directional changes while running cause most ACL injuries. The most common way an ACL tear or injury can occur is a combination of a sudden stopping motion on the leg, while the knee twists. A planted foot remains stationary while the body rotates towards the opposite side of the body In those circumstances where quick directional changes are made, the shinbone and thighbone rotate too far in opposite directions or the knee bends forward.
Other ways the ACL can be injured is by a direct blow to the leg (from a low tackle, for instance) or sudden deceleration.
There are three grades of severity of an ACL injury:
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?:
Symptoms of an ACL injury can vary greatly. You may experience one or more of the following:
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS?: