Very common among amateur and recreational athletes performing especially basketball, soccer, American football and skiing. The ACL injuries are more severe in women than male athletes who perform the same sport. (2.4 – 9.7%)
Anatomy-Biomechanics: Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia. The knee is essentially a hinged joint that is held together by the medial collateral (MCL), lateral collateral (LCL), anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments. The ACL keeps the knee stable. The primary function of the ACL is to prevent hyperextension; its secondary function is to restrain tibial rotation and varus/valgus stress. ACL injury is most commonly a non-contact injury involving a sudden stop or twisting movement, such as a dismount from a layup in basketball.
Etiology: ACL injury is most commonly a non-contact injury involving a sudden stop or twisting movement, such as a dismount from a layup in basketball. Other high risk sports are: soccer, American football and skiing. In contact sports, ACL injuries are often accompanied by other ligament and meniscus injuries. Unsuitable sports shoes and artificial turf are also factors that cause ACL injuries.
Diagnosis: Patient who underwent the ACL injury indicates of hearing a “pop” sound on the knee. Within a few hours following injury, the knee joint swells due to internal bleeding. Sportive activity can not be continued because of pain, infusion and looseness of the knee. Swelling, inactivity and pain in the knee will be observed during the medical examination. In case of tenderness along the knee joint may indicate meniscal tears and internal and external ligament injuries. 50% of ACL ruptures may accompanied by meniscal tears.
Maneuvers for diagnosing of ACL injuries may not be performed at early stages due to pain.