Taking Care of Your ACL

ACL Injuries | Midland, TXHaving just finished up with spring football practices around Texas and the country, ACL injuries can return to the forefront. At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists we have extensive experience in these injuries and surgery to repair them. Sprains or tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are quite common in football, soccer, and basketball. For the player to continue to play the sport, it’s likely they will need surgery from Dr. Floyd or Dr. Rowland to get back in the game.

For our next few blogs, we’ll discuss the ACL and what you need to know about it.

What is the ACL?

First a little anatomy of the human knee. Three bones form the knee joint: the thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). The kneecap provides protection to the front of the knee.

Ligaments connect those bones, and in the knee there are four primary ligaments. The cruciate ligaments are on the inside of the knee joint. The anterior cruciate ligament is in the front, and the posterior cruciate is in the back. Together they form an “X” and control the back and forth motion of the knee.

The collateral ligaments are on the sides of the knee. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. Their job is to control sideways motion of the knee, limiting it.

ACL injuries

About one of every two ACL injuries also involve damage to surrounding structures such as the cartilage, the meniscus, or other ligaments. When you injure a ligament, it is deemed a “sprain” and is graded on the severity of the injury.

  • Grade 1 — Ligament is mildly damaged. Slightly stretched, but it is still able to keep the knee stable when in use.
  • Grade 2 — Ligament is stretched to the point it is loose. This is also known as a partial tear. Partial ACL tears are rare.
  • Grade 3 — This is a complete tear of the ligament. The ligament is split and the knee has no stability. Most ACL tears are complete or nearly complete.

Why do athletes get ACL injuries?

Force applied in the wrong direction is usually behind most ACL injuries. Look at this list of typical causes and you’ll understand why the team at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists sees so many football and soccer players.

  • Stopping suddenly
  • Rapid slowing while running
  • Rapid directional change when running
  • Landing at a bad angle from a jump
  • Direct contact or collision

If you think you’ve injured your ACL, we should check it out. Call us at urgent Orthopedic Specialists, (432) 520-3020, to make an appointment.

Posted in: ACL Surgery

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