Medical Topic Blog: Torn ACL

Ben Bodin

Word Analysis for 5 associated terms

Word analysis for Anterior:

Anter- (p) front

-ior (s) pertaining to

Meaning: pertaining to the front.

Word analysis for Biomimetic:

Bi/o (cf) life

-mimetic (s) mimic; copy

Meaning: to mimic or copy life

Word analysis for Neuromuscular:

Neur/o (cf) brain

muscul (r) muscle

-ar (s) pertaining to

Meaning: Pertaining to the brain and muscles.

Word analysis for iliotibial:

ili/o (cf) ilium

tibi (r) tibia (shin bone)

-al (s) pertaining to

Meaning: pertaining to the ilium in the tibia.

Word analysis for Ipsilateral:

Ipsi- (p) same

later (r) side

-al (s) pertaining to

Meaning: Pertaining to the same side.


The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament located behind the kneecap and connects the femur to the tibia (McDaniel, 2010). The ligament is responsible for stabilizing the knee joint and is vulnerable to tear due to it's location (McDaniel, 2010). The ligament is very poor in terms of self-healing capabilities and surgical repair is a complex and painful process. Due to those factors many people choose to forgo the operation for physical therapy instead. Women are three to five times more likely to tear their ACL's due to a variety of differences between the two genders (McDaniel, 2010).

A tear in the ACL is usually a non-contact injury that occurs from excessive starting, stopping, jumping, and twisting. A torn ACL also results in extreme pain, and or swelling. When an ACL is torn there are a variety of different treatment options that can be categorized by either surgical or non-surgical. The surgical, or "reconstruction" option obviously involves a surgery, but then a shorter period of physical therapy with full recovery as the goal. The non-surgical option utilizes a much more intensive physical therapy regiment in an effort to reduce pain and regain ability to move comfortably. The goal of the non-surgical option usually is not full recovery. Many athletes choose the surgical option, but others may not see it as practical.

With the above treatment methods in mind, it is important to note that everyone reacts differently to the treatments. "You've torn your ACL. Now what" states that the surgical reconstruction option can be avoided "without adversely affecting outcomes" (2012). This information is based off a study of 121 "active young Scandinavian adults with ACL tears." This study suggests that the non-surgical option is more effective than what people expect, and that many can save money and time by avoiding the surgery while seeing the same results.

The vast majority of the research I conducted looked into the options for treatment for ACL tear rehabilitation, as well as what outside factors ACL tears can be attributed to. I learned a lot more than what expected about this topic and hope you all can take some knowledge out of this blog as well.