Anterior Cruciate Ligament (A.C.L) Tear

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  • Topic: Anterior cruciate ligament, Knee, Cruciate ligament
  • Pages : 3 (960 words )
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  • Published : June 5, 2005
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Ligaments are tough, non-stretchable fibers that hold bones together. Damage to cruciate ligaments, which crisscross the knee to give it stability, is one of the most common sports injuries. The "tear" occurs from changing direction rapidly, slowing down from running, or landing from a jump improperly. The A.C.L tear is one injury that worries athletes in all sports at all levels because of its devastating effects. People ages 15-25 that participate in basketball and other sports that require pivoting are especially at risk.

General Information
"The anterior cruicate ligament is a strong band that arises from the posterior middle part of the lateral condyle of the femur, it passes anteriorly and inferiorly between the condyle, and is attached to the depression in front of the intercondylar eminence of the tibia (Mosby‘s page. 105)." The tear of the A.C.L is described as a partial or complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament. The A.C.L. does not repair by itself. It is so important to an athlete in most sports because an athlete has to be able to rotate the knee in specific directions. The tear happens more frequently in soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Athletes who started participating in a sport while they were young have a greater chance of sustaining a tear. Women are more susceptible to this injury than men. Theories for this include hormonal, environmental, and biomechanical factors. "Women‘s muscles react differently in landing. Doctors say that women land with straighter legs than men do; thus, they pass their shock to the A.C.L. resulting in a tear. Environmental factors are shoes and playing surfaces." (Patrick, Dick)

Causes and Symptoms
The most common way to tear the A.C.L is by violently twisting the knee. This can happen with or without contact. Most people say they hear "a pop". It can occur when you‘re slowing down from running, planting and suddenly changing direction, or hyperextending the knee. "When this...
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