An Overview of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears (ACL Tears)
Knee injuries affect countless residents of the Dallas, Frisco and Fort Worth, Texas area. One of the most common injuries associated with the knee joint is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. Athletes and active individuals who participate in sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction, such as football, basketball and soccer, are at an elevated risk of an ACL tear. If the ACL becomes injured, it is important it is treated as soon as possible in order to return full stability and function to the knee joint. The knee specialists at Texas Sports Medicine specialize in treating ACL tears and returning their patients back to the game in a timely manner.
What is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the main ligaments in the knee joint. The ACL is considered the main stabilizing ligament and is responsible for preventing the knee form shifting. Running from the front (anterior) aspect of the tibia to the back of the femur, the ACL is prone to injury in active individuals involved in cutting and pivoting activities.
An ACL tear is typically caused from an unnatural twisting or pivoting motion, as well as from a direct blow to the knee joint. A tear occurs when the ligament is stretched beyond its normal range of motion and the tibia slides out from under the femur. Partial ACL tears are uncommon. The majority of ACL tears are classified as either near complete or complete tears.
It is reported about half of all anterior cruciate ligament tears involve damage to other structures within the knee such as other ligaments, the menisci and cartilage.
Athletes involved in high demand sports are at an elevated risk since their knees are pushed to the limit during various movements. High risk athletes include those who participate in football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, tennis and skiing. It is important to note ACL tears are reported in more women than men.
ACL Tear Symptoms
- A ‘popping’ sound at the time of injury
- A sensation the knee will give out
- Decreased range of motion
- Discomfort while walking