ACL Tear – The Most Common Knee Injury: Symptoms, Causes & Surgery

Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of the four crucial ligaments that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The ACL acts like a tiny rope that holds the thigh and shin bone together to provide the stability to the knee joint and help it perform rotation and angulation. Without this ACL, the knee joint is prone to dislocation

The Four Ligaments of Knee Joint:

 The ACL along with the other three ligaments keeps the leg and shin bone together giving stability to the knee joint. Working as a unit, each ligament of the knee supports the knee joint differently:

Located to the side of your knee (inside), MCL keeps the knee from bending too far outward. LCL, found in the lateral side of the knee (outside), prevents the knee from bending too far inward.

The PCL keeps your shin bone from sliding too far backward and ACL resists the leg bone from sliding too far forward in relation to the leg bone.

ACL – The Most Commonly Injured Knee Ligament:

Ligament tears happen when the knee is subjected to sudden and intense never-before like strains that happen very rarely in the case of MCL, LCL, and PCL. Injuries to these ligaments are very rare, as it takes an unusual amount of strain to the magnitude of car accidents, direct knee blows.
Unlike those three ligaments, ACL is not protected adequately and is also heavily exposed to the potential injury-causing strains on a daily basis like the following:

  • Moving and quickly stopping to change directions.
  • Making sudden movements like jumping or turning.
  • Overstretching the knee joint.So the risk of ACL is high the folks who commonly perform the above movements: Athletes. The weight of athletes and intensity of these movements in their respective sports further increases the chance of ACL injuries in athletes, making ACL tear the most common knee injury in sports like basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, track, and field. The ACL injury can also happen when you happen to put an intense rotation strain on your knee by landing your feet at an abnormal position. ACL Reconstruction is the most common surgical procedure that is performed by the sports surgeons to help athletes get back into their respective sports

Symptoms of ACL:

The symptoms of ACL depend upon the grade of ACL injury:

Grade -1

Ligaments are stretched but there is no tear. Little knee swelling and tenderness.
Can perform daily activities and physical tasks.

Grade -2

Ligaments are partially torn. Pain, swelling and moderate loss of knee function.
Knee feels unstable and gives out during physical tasks

Grade -3

Ligaments are completely torn. Pain, swelling, with bleeding inside the joint
 Knee becomes unstable and cannot perform physical activities.

In general, pain, swelling, and loss of range of motion, discomfort while walking are some of the common symptoms of ACL.

Treatment for ACL: 

 The treatment for ACL tear depends upon the severity of the injury as well as the individual needs of the patient. In the case of elderly adults, the ACL can be managed by non-surgical treatment options like physical therapy and bracing while refraining from physically demanding tasks. As for the young athletes who would like to return to their sports, surgical options like Reconstruction of ACL is recommended.

At our Sports Clinic in Surat, we have treated ACL injuries of thousands of athletes and sportspersons effectively. If you are looking to completely cure your ACL injuries, Dr. Chirag Patel is an expert ACL Reconstruction Surgeon in Surat who is highly experienced in Single and double bundle ACL reconstruction techniques to help patients get back their healthy knee function. You can contact him here: Dr Chirag Patel