What Exactly is an ACL Injury?
ACL injuries are tricky. They are far more common than they used to be, but many people still don’t know exactly what they entail. So, before you, your child or anyone you know gets an ACL injury, it might be good to understand a little about them.
What is the ACL? How Does a Tear Occur?
First, let’s consider what the ACL actually is. Short for “anterior cruciate ligament,” the ACL is only one of the four major knee ligaments. Its main purpose: to avoid extreme knee motion. An ACL tear happens when an action forces excess motion in the knee, often during a rough jump landing, rough play in a sport or during certain pivoting motions.
Did I Tear My ACL?
Did you feel your knee pop? At any point did your knee fail to support your body or feel unstable? Is your knee swelling? These might indicate that you should see a doctor for further diagnosis.
How Do I Fix My Torn ACL?
Depending on both the severity of your ACL injury and your daily level of physical activity, you might undergo ACL reconstruction surgery or simply go about your life. Typically, though, ACL tears occur in athletes, for whom doctors will usually recommend the surgery and physical therapy.
Can I Avoid Tearing My ACL?
No one can completely prevent ACL injuries, but focusing on varied stretches and exercises can really lend to strengthening the ligament. Take a look at our article regarding preventing ACL tears for children, as many of those principles are universal.