Since ACL tears are common in athletes, it is important to know what exactly causes your ACL to tear apart. In general, the twisting and pivoting motion of the knee used in many sports is what causes an ACL injury. When this occurs, what generally happens is this: your foot is planted on the ground and a force will be placed upon the knee, either externally or internally, causing the rest of your body to react to the force by pivoting, twisting or extending. Your foot stays planted on the ground while the rest of your body keeps moving. When injury occurs, this force is able to override the stability of the knee joint that the ACL is usually able to withstand. Some examples of the causes of an ACL tears include:
● A hard impact that crushes your knee or leg.
● The overextension of your knee when kicking or bending.
● Sudden stop and go movement when running, jumping or turning your body.
ACL tears may be paired with other knee injuries as well. Other ligaments within the knee joint or bones can be harmed along with the ACL. The word ‘cruciate’ is a derivative of a Latin word meaning ‘cross-shaped’ or ‘overlapping,’ and is why the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is named as such. There are two cruciate ligaments in the knee and are both susceptible to tears or other injuries on their own or in combination.If You Are Experiencing Symptoms, Schedule an Appointment Dr. Burke Orthopedics Immediately.
ACL tears may not always be preventable in every given situation, but there are things that you can do to decrease the risk of an ACL tear. Follow this prevention advice for ACL tears, especially if you are an athlete of any age. ACL tears can be a season-ending injury for athletes. You can prevent ACL tears by:
● Wearing the right sports uniform and safety pads when participating in contact sports.
● Properly warm-up before any physical activity. Do not engage is rigorous physical activity with ligaments, tendons, and muscles that are not ready for the impacts that await them. Warming up properly has many benefits to physiological and psychological systems of the body such as increasing heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles and ligaments, and allowing yourself to mentally prepare. These benefits of warming-up and more will help ligaments such as the ACL withstand greater forces.
● Keep your body as flexible as possible by stretching frequently throughout the day.
● Building and strengthening the muscles around your knees for more support. For the ACL in particular, the hamstrings are very important to keep strong.
● Learning how to safely land on your knees after a jump or fall to the ground.