Acl Injuries In Athletes Essay Research Paper

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Acl Injuries In Athletes Essay, Research Paper ACL Injuries in Athletes The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) attaches the femur, which is the thighbone, and the tibia, which is the shin, together (northstar). A torn ACL is one of the most excruciating experiences in an athlete’s life. It is the first thing that comes to mind when they hurt their knee on the field; for many it is their greatest fear. A torn ACL can sometimes mean the end of an athlete’s career. It can mean losing the chance to get that scholarship for young athletes, and it can also mean the end of those million dollar paychecks for those who have gone professional. A torn ACL can result in numerous surgeries, months of vigorous exercise and rehabilitation, and a sufficient amount of pain. It requires

complete patience, for pushing too hard can result in further, more painful injury. Even after all that, an athlete is not guaranteed he or she will ever be able to play sports again. The anterior cruciate ligament is the reason that the knee only has one pattern of movement. Instead of moving sideways and up and down, the knee only serves as a pivot for flexion (bending) and extension (straightening); it holds the tibia and femur in place (northstar). In the northstar web page it is stated that, “The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most important ligaments to athletes because of its main function, stabilization of the joint while decelerating.” In other words, it is the reason that we can stop abruptly without our leg collapsing. Obviously this asset makes it an

essential to have a functioning ACL while playing sports. It is an especially common injury in soccer, which is a game of constant abrupt stops. Not only is soccer a danger to the ACL because of its constant stops and starts, it is also a game of jumps, falls, and slide-tackles, which put a continuous stress on the ACL for the entire 90 minutes of the game. ACL tears are also more common in women. It is said that the reason for this is because women’s bodies were not meant for playing intense sports, and are therefore more likely to endure such injuries. The ACL is the most frequently injured part of the knee when related to sports. As fore-mentioned, the ACL aids us in abrupt stops; it are these abrupt stops that are the most common cause for its injury. ( Figure 1. shows the

difference between a normal ACL and a torn one.) An ACL injury has not been scientifically proven to be linked to weight, size, or strength (Duff 308). The cause can be a violent twist of the knee, or it can simply be caused by standing up too fast. It can be twisted or hyper extended. In any case, if it is concluded that the ACL has been ruptured, the symptoms and treatment remain the same. In any injury tiny, or large, blood vessels are broken, resulting in bleeding into the area of the injury. This is the cause of swelling. In an ACL tear, the knee swells almost immediately because of the broken blood vessels in the ligament ( Sechrest.com). The initial tear makes a loud “pop” and, because of the absence of the ligament’s reinforcement, there is a feeling of instability

in the knee. In some cases, the knee actually subluxes, which is a dislocation that pops back into place on its own. In these cases, there is usually more injured than just the ACL. Often the MCL (medial collateral ligament) is also injured (Sechrest.com). Other common symptoms, according to the northstar website are pain and the athlete falling to the ground as a result of the instability, or buckling, of the knee. A torn ACL can only truly be determined through a series of tests starting with a physical examination, as in the Lachman’s and Anterior Drawer tests. In the Lachman’s test (shown in Fig. 2.), “[the] Patient with suspected injury lies supine on examination table and flexes the knee at 15 degrees. The person examining the patient stands on the affected side of