Acl Injuries In Athletes Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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the extremity and holds the patient’s femur (thigh) immobile with one hand. The other hand is placed on the tibia (shin) and tries to move it forward, without rotation. The movement of this knee is then compared to the normal knee” (northstar). The physical examination is also given using the Anterior Drawer test (Fig. 3.). In this test, the “Patient’s knee is placed at 80-90 degrees flexion. The examiner repeats [the] process of Lachman’s test except that he or someone helping him sits on the patient’s feet to stabilize it and gently pulls the tibia forward with both hands” (northstar). Unfortunately, sometimes there is too much swelling in the knee to get accurate results from these tests. The athlete then has the fluid drained from his/her knee, and if this fluid

has blood in it, the sechrest site notes that there is a 70% chance that the ACl has been torn. X-rays can then be done to rule out the possibility of fractures or chipping of the knee joint, which can also cause blood in the joint. If there is still doubt, an MRI can be done. MRI is an abbreviation for magnetic reconnaissance image. An MRI allows doctors to choose which layer of the anatomy they wish to see, and show a much clearer view of the area under inspection. In most cases an MRI will always be done if there is a suspected torn ACL. For even more evidence that there is actually a tear an arthroscopy is performed, but usually this procedure is left for surgical, not diagnostic purposes. An arthroscopy entails a small camera being placed in the knee joint to look directly

at the ACL. Once it is determined that the ACL has in fact been torn, the athlete must prepare for reconstructive surgery. Many orthopedic choose to wait for the knee to stop swelling and regain some of the normal range of motion through light physical therapy for several weeks before going into surgery. The athlete is also fitted with a brace to help maintain some stability that is worn at all times before and up to about six weeks after surgery. The most often performed surgery is arthroscopic surgery. In this surgery, a small incision is made for the tiny camera which will guide the surgeon. To reconstruct the ACL, the surgeon will generally harvest, or take, one third of the patellar tendon. Usually it will be the central third that will be used in order to leave the two ends

easily re-attachable. Attached to the graft (the patellar tendon) are pieces of bone which will prevent the tendon from sliding out of place once attached to the tibia and femur. Holes are then drilled into the femur and tibia at the attachment sites. The tendon, which will now be the reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament, is then threaded through the holes and held in place by metal screws. New blood vessels will grow in the tendon enabling it to heal, and the body will accept it as a ligament (Arthroscopy.com). There is little scarring, but still much to recover from. After surgery, the patient is set up with a physical therapist and given a continuous passive motion device. This deice is normally used during sleep. The athlete’s leg stays in constant motion to keep it

from stiffening overnight. For the first few weeks after surgery, the athlete meets with a physical therapist at least three times a week, and then the routine is left up to him/her (sechrest.com). Some common exercises done through rehabilitation are leg lifts, leg curls, riding the stationary bike, swimming, and light jogging with a brace. Because a muscle tends to slightly atrophy, or weaken, from lack of use the athlete at first uses no weight or resistance in the rehab. program. His/her own body weight is sufficient enough to fatigue the muscle. As the athlete progresses, the use of weights and resistance increases until the injured leg is at the same level as the normal leg. This progress can take up to a year for some athletes, while for others it can be accomplished in

six months depending on the routine and the tolerance of the knee. At that point the athlete is allowed to resume his/her sport on a trial basis. He/she is placed back on the roster as a back up, and if everything goes well the athlete will be able to return fully to the sport. He/she will continue to require a knee brace while playing for extra support. It is a long, hard road of patience and determination for an athlete who sustains a torn ACL. It is quite possible that the injury could cause the athlete to never be able to perform as well again. The star player could be reduced to second string. Although in many cases what really holds the athlete back is not the knee, but instead fear of further injury. Many athletes find themselves almost completely back to normal, but they