Acl Reconstruction

Topics: Anterior cruciate ligament, Knee, Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction Pages: 7 (2861 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Make no mistake about it, but some athletes never return from injuries similar to the one as Adrian Peterson’s ACL tear. If someone would have said that Peterson would be up for the 2012 MVP, everyone would have just laughed. Everyone but Peterson himself would have told you that it is impossible for him to be a contender. Future Hall of Fame Minnesota Vikings’ running back rewrote medical textbooks, anatomical knowledge and clinical reason during the comeback season of his reconstructive surgery after suffering a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee last December. The story about Adrian Peterson is impossible to put into words, just because how unbelievable the story continues to grow week after week. Saying “superhuman” or “animal” do not even come close to touching this. To understand a better appreciation of what Peterson has done let’s talk about what an ACL is and what happens when it is torn and the surgery part plus extensive rehab are needed before an athlete can even consider about returning to football. ACL also known as the anterior cruciate ligament, is located in the center of the knee joint as one of its four main stabilizing ligaments. Just like the other ligaments the ACL is a band of tissue that connects two bones and serves to coordinate their motion also preventing certain abnormal movement’s. The ACL connects the bottom, flat end of the femur (thigh bone) to the top, flat end of the tibia (shin bone). In which it runs, generally speaking, from the upper-outer to lower-inner corners of the joint. By connecting the femur and tibia, the ACL prevents movements such as, lower leg moving forward in relation to the thigh. Another movement it prevents is the lower leg from being twisted inwards toward the midline of the body. By not allowing these movements it helps a player do such things as balance, cut and change directions on the knee without difficulty. Not having a strong functional ACL, would make a career for a NFL running back impossible. The ACL can only stand so much abnormal movement. If the knee is forced strongly enough to move forward or twist inward enough, the ACL then gives way and which is when the tear occurs. This usually happens when a tackle forces a knee of a leg that is planted inwards just like what happen to Peterson. With Peterson’s leg being planted when the tackle occurred, the leg then could not give in with the contact of the hit. Which then resulted, his knee and ACL to absorb the total force of the tackle, causing a complete tear. At the occurrence of an ACL tear, an audible “pop” usually is heard, with the injury producing serious pain. After the injured knee then it becomes intensely swelled, when blood vessels in the ACL tear also within the ligament causing bleeding within the knee joint. When there is bleeding within a joint this is known as a hermarthrosis. Surgeons like to wait until swelling resolve before operating. Most cases this takes weeks alone to go down. Some studies say that operating right after an ACL tear will decrease knee range of motion following surgery. (Dr. Andrews) the one who did surgery on Peterson’s knee only six days after his injury. (Dr. Andrews) determined Peterson to be a perfect candidate for early surgery. ACL reconstruction surgery involves taking a small piece of muscle tendon and using it to replace the torn ACL. The replacement muscle tendon, known as a “graft” can come from the athlete’s hamstring muscle tendons, patellar tendon (the part of the knee a doctor hits with a reflex hammer) or even from a deceased donor. After surgery, an athlete is followed by a long road of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Rehab allows the graft to be worked into place slowly. This graft isn’t really suppose to be there so walking, running, sprinting and, eventually, cutting, must be worked into play as the body puts the graft into place. This process takes extreme dedication and effort to really embrace the insurance of if they are able to return to...
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