Symptoms of an ACL injury
Symptoms of an acl injury may include a sudden giving way of the knee, a “pop” at the time of the injury or a sudden swelling of the knee joint and pain in the knee when walking. When an acl injury occurs, the knee becomes less stable, and this instability will make sudden pivoting movements difficult. This type of damage to the knee may also make you prone to developing arthritis and cartilage tears. While you still may enjoy daily activities with little discomfort, pivoting activities or sports may prove difficult.
Causes of an ACL injury
The anterior cruciate ligament can be injured in several ways:
- Changing direction rapidly
- Stopping suddenly
- Slowing down while running
- Landing from a jump incorrectly
Direct contact or collision, such as a football tackles.
Anatomy of ACL
Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). Your kneecap sits in front of the joint to provide some protection.
Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. There are four primary ligaments in your knee. They act like strong ropes to hold the bones together and keep your knee stable.
These are found on the sides of your knee. Medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament control the sideways motion of your knee and brace it against unusual movement.
These are found inside your knee joint. They cross each other to form an “X” with the anterior cruciate ligament in front and the posterior cruciate ligament in back. The cruciate ligaments control the back and forth motion of your knee.
The anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally in the middle of the knee. It prevents the shinbone from sliding out in front of the thighbone, as well as provides rotational stability to the knee.