Your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a tough band of tissue that is fundamentally important in how your knee functions. The ACL connects your thigh bone to your shinbone and lies across the knee; it is particularly important for stabilising the knee joint during movement.
An ACL injury tends to refer to either a tear or a sprain of the ligament, which can be very painful and debilitating.
The ligament is often stressed by certain movements, for instance suddenly stopping or sharply turning direction. Many patients report a ‘Popping’ sensation when the injury occurs, followed by pain, swelling, instability and an inability to weight bear.
This can be a particular obstruction for professional athletes and people who have jobs that require a good deal of movement and being on your feet.
Am I Likely To Have An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury?
An ACL injury is a very common injury for people who partake in many mainstream sporting activities, such as football, basketball, rugby and skiing.
ACL injuries are also considerably more common in women than in men, which may be due to small gender-driven differences in anatomy and biomechanics.
How To Prevent An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
If you carry out an activity that increases the chances of injuring your ACL, it is important to be aware of preventative measures you can take. These include:
- Protective devices: most sports have their own developed gear to support your physique and cushion important areas that are likely to be injured. It is important that you research these prior to taking up a sport or any intensive training.
- Training and exercise: although it is particularly important to have well strengthen hamstrings, the aim should be to work on all core and lower limb muscles.
- Improved your technique for jumping/landing and pivoting: so as to distribute pressure healthily during activity.
Treatment For ACL Injury
Treatment can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury. A minor sprain can treated with rest, ice and elevation, where as a badly torn ACL may require surgery. Medications, such as pain-killers, and knee braces are often useful to help manage ACL injuries that don’t require surgery. This can help manage symptoms while you are healing and get you back to activity quicker. However, if surgery is required it may take up to 12 months to fully return back to sporting activities.
When To See Someone
If you have injured your knee, it is important to seek first aid immediately followed by a specialist medical opinion to ascertain the degree of injury. Your specialist may need medical imaging to determine the extent of damage. This is very important. If you don’t treat an ACL injury according to its severity, you may risk long term stability and pain issues that are not easily resolved.
My practice and the colleagues I work with are well placed to manage and treat ACL injuries. At each of my clinic locations we have in-house medical imaging facilities and have a range of outpatient pain management treatments at hand. I work with a team of specialists who I trust to make a difference for my patients, including:
If you have any further questions or would like to arrange an appointment, please do get in touch with my secretaries, via:
Tel. 07540 123 227
Address. 27 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QP
Or submit a contact form via our website.