Treatment of ACL Injuries

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Treatment of ACL Injuries “Doc, I fell and twisted my knee. I heard a pop. It hurt briefly. When I stood up, the knee felt as if it was not underneath me, and the knee gave way. It swelled up by the next day and ever since feels as though it would pop out when I twist or even cross the street quickly.” In almost all cases the above complaints occur due to an injury to the ACL (Anterior Crucial Ligament) of the knee. The ACL is a very important ligament in the knee that controls the pivoting motion of the knee. This joint guides the femur and tibia through a regular range of motion. It is the most common and serious of injury sustained to the knee (Duffy, f9). How this injury happens, who is most susceptible, and how it is treated are a few questions athletes are becoming heavily concerned with. ACL injuries account for over sixty percent of all knee injuries and those numbers are growing every year (Lamb 145). The major cause of injury to the ACL is sports related. The types of sports, which have been associated with ACL tears, are numerous. Those sports requiring the foot to be planted and the body to change direction rapidly (such as basketball) carry a high incidence of injury. Football, of course, is frequently the source of an ACL tear. Football combines the activity of planting the foot and rapidly changing direction plus the threat of bodily contact. One group that has a high occurrence of ACL injuries is female athletes. This is in part due to the rise in women’s athletics, but studies have shown that female athletes are more likely to suffer this injury when compared to their male counterparts. The exact reason is unknown, but there are several theories. One theory is that women’s athletics are becoming more intense and this is putting female athletes at higher risk (Robertson Personal Interview). The women’s sports are trying to catch up to the intensity men’s sports are now played and women are suffering injuries trying to get to that level of competition. Other reasons thought to be contributing to women’s higher risk are the anatomy of their knee differing from that of a man’s (Lamb 142). Tests have shown that the female ligament is weaker than males due to the effects of the female hormone estrogen.

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