Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick regularly see ACL injuries. This week we are going to outline what an ACL is, how it can be injured, and what treatment methods there are.

 

What is an ACL?

 

A ligament attaching the back of your femur (thigh bone) to the front of your tibia (shin bone). This ligament stops your shin from shifting in front of your thigh and increases your overall knee stability.

 

How can it get injured?

Just like every other ligament in the body, an ACL can have a grade 1 (mild damage), grade 2 (stretched and loose ACL, rare), or grade 3 (ACL is in 2 pieces, knee extremely unstable) tear. Grade 3 ACL tear, or a complete ACL rupture, is the most common diagnosed ACL injury and this will be the focus of the ACL series.

 

An ACL tear occurs with high speed combined with sudden stopping, twisting of your knee, and/or change of direction movements. These injuries are commonly non-contact and occur in sports such as AFL, netball and rugby. Females, high speed athletes and those with poor hamstring strength are at the highest risk for an ACL injury.

 

Although movement patterns (such as knee caving) can predispose you to an ACL injury, a complete ACL rupture will always be the result of an acute event.

 

How does it feel when the ACL is injured?

 

When an ACL is ruptured, an audible “pop” is often heard, and the injured leg will feel as though it is “giving way” under any type of weight. The knee will feel very unstable and you will not be able to continue the activity you were participating in when the ACL was torn.

 

Following on later this week, we will discuss non-surgical and surgical routes for an ACL rupture. Stay tuned…

 

 

Written by Mitchell Hooper

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