Acl Injuries Who How And Why Essay

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Acl Injuries: Who, How, And Why? Essay, Research Paper ACL Injuries: Who, How, and why? “Doc, I fell and twisted my knee. I heard a pop. It hurt briefly. When I stood up, the knee felt as if it was not underneath me, and the knee gave way. It swelled up by the next day and ever since feels as though it would pop out when I twist or even cross the street quickly.” In almost all cases the above complaints occur due to an injury to the ACL (Anterior Crucial Ligament) of the knee. The ACL is a very important ligament in the knee that controls the pivoting motion of the knee. This joint guides the femur and tibia through a regular range of motion. It is the most common and serious of injury sustained to the knee (Duffy, f9). How this injury happens, who is most susceptible,

and how it is treated are a few questions athletes are becoming heavily concerned with. ACL injuries account for over sixty percent of all knee injuries and those numbers are growing every year (Lamb 145). The major cause of injury to the ACL is sports related. The types of sports, which have been associated with ACL tears, are numerous. Those sports requiring the foot to be planted and the body to change direction rapidly (such as basketball) carry a high incidence of injury. Football, of course, is frequently the source of an ACL tear. Football combines the activity of planting the foot and rapidly changing direction plus the threat of bodily contact. One group that has a high occurrence of ACL injuries is female athletes. This is in part due to the rise in women’s athletics,

but studies have shown that female athletes are more likely to suffer this injury when compared to their male counterparts. The exact reason is unknown, but there are several theories. One theory is that women’s athletics are becoming more intense and this is putting female athletes at higher risk (Robertson Personal Interview). The women’s sports are trying to catch up to the intensity men’s sports are now played and women are suffering injuries trying to get to that level of competition. Other reasons thought to be contributing to women’s higher risk are the anatomy of their knee differing from that of a man’s (Lamb 142). Tests have shown that the female ligament is weaker than males due to the effects of the female hormone estrogen. The distribution of muscle

strength may also be a factor. With the help of the hamstring and quadriceps (back and front of leg) the knee joint is stabilized. If those muscles are not of adequate strength the knee may bear more stress than it is capable of. “On average the hamstring should be sixty to seventy percent the strength of the quadriceps. In most women this number drops to forty-five to fifty percent” (Duffy, f9). Women also use these two muscles differently; women rely more on the quadriceps than the hamstring. The hamstring protects the ACL more than the quadriceps so the imbalance is considered a risk factor in knee injuries. One other group in high risk of knee injury is the “weekend warriors”. These are the people that are not active on a regular basis. They may take part in an

athletic activity once in a while, but not often enough to be in the shape needed to compete at high levels. When injuries occur in this group it is usually because these “weekend warriors” push their bodies to a limit they are not used to reaching. “Exercise and making one’s body work hard is good if it can be done often, but rare cases of exertion tend to just be added stress to the body and injuries are prone to happen”(Robertson Personal Interview). The strength of the legs and joints is very important like mentioned above to avoid injury, but this group of people never takes the time to condition these muscles and in many cases, they are provoking an accident to happen. Treatment of ACL injuries varies greatly from case to case. Initial treatment for ACL injury