Knee anterior cruciate ligament tear

Knee anterior cruciate ligament tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament that runs from the front of the tibia to the back of the femur. It helps stabilize the knee in both the anterior-posterior and lateral directions. ACL tears can occur from significant twisting forces applied to the knee. These twists can happen during sports activities, landing from a jump, or slipping. A small popping sound may be heard when the ACL tears. Following the tear, immediate pain and swelling usually occur. It may be difficult to bear weight on the leg after an ACL tear, and the knee may feel unstable and loose. However, it is also possible for an ACL tear to be asymptomatic.


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Treatment of anterior cruciate ligament tear of the knee

Anterior cruciate ligament tears can be treated either by surgery or rehabilitation. This decision is made by an orthopaedic surgeon. Both conservative treatments, called non-surgical treatment, and post-operative rehabilitation focus on gradually strengthening the muscles that support the knee, maintaining range of motion and restoring and improving the functionality of the leg.


ACL injury

There are two joint coils in the knee called articular tubercles. These crescent-shaped discs made of connective tissue primarily function as shock absorbers and are positioned between the tibia and the femur. Injuries to the synovial plexus, which is the network of joints in the knee, are commonly caused by twisting the knee. Additionally, degenerative changes can also lead to articular tears. Symptoms of an ACL injury may not always appear immediately after the injury but can have a short delay.

Symptoms of an anterior cruciate ligament injury

The most typical symptom of an ACL injury is a locked bent knee. This means that the knee is momentarily unable to straighten after, for example, squatting. Other typical symptoms of a knee injury include pain around the knee, especially when straining or twisting the knee, and swelling of the knee. There may also be a snapping sound from the knee joint.


Rehabilitation of an ACL injury

Partial or small tears of the joint capsule are treated with physiotherapy. Only complete tears require surgery. Physiotherapy focuses on strengthening the muscles that support the knee and, as rehabilitation progresses, on better control of knee and lower limb movements. The DAVID medical exercise equipment allows for safe and controlled exercise of the knee in flexion and extension movements.