Know more about your ACL so that you can protect it.
The ACL is particularly susceptible to injury and can be difficult to mend. When you understand how this key ligament works, you can take measures to prevent accidents when exercising, playing sports or executing everyday activities.
What is the ACL?
ACL is an acronym for anterior cruciate ligament. Anatomically, this ligament lies at the juncture of the femur bone of the thigh and the tibia bone of the calf, directly behind the knee cap. A ligament is a tissue that binds bones together while also providing a certain amount of elasticity and flexibility, like a rubber band. In the case of the ACL, it is also crucial to providing stability and some shock absorption for the leg and the entire body.
How does the ACL become injured?
Because the ACL is a taut connection and because it bears most of the body's weight, sudden twists and jerks or an impact can tear part or all of the ACL. These often occur during sports that require sudden changes in direction, such as basketball or skiing or when a person is exercising without proper form. Tripping and falling also contribute to ACL injuries.
How can I avoid ACL injury?
Thinking ahead and paying close attention to your movements is the key to injury prevention. Here are several ideas for protecting your ACL:
- Always warm up thoroughly before working out or participating in a sport.
- Note how your body moves so you can avoid sudden motions.
- Know the proper form for lifting, lunging, squatting, swerving or pivoting during fitness activities.
- Perform exercises that strengthen the muscles that surround and support the ACL.
Are you experiencing pain, swelling or instability in the knee area? Raulerson Hospital offers Physical Rehabilitation Services to provide therapy and other treatment options for your ACL injury. If you have any questions or if you would like to request a physician referral, call us via our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-449-8642.