ACL Injuries

Causes and Prevention by Rhea Bachani

Purpose of the ACL

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the main ligaments in the knee that connects the femur to the tibia. It's purpose is to prevent the tibia from moving forward, off of the femur, and to prevent it from moving past the joints capability of motion.

How the ACL Can Get Injured

The ACL may be torn if the ligament is overstretched due to a movement that puts too much strain on the ACL. This usually occurs with a sudden stop and twist of the knee, or a blow to the knee.


Some examples of this include:


  • A football player making a fast cut and changing direction
  • A gymnast la ding on a dismount
  • A baseball player sliding into a base with his knee hyperextended, etc.


With a damaged ACL, the knee can become unstable and buckle.

Prevention

The most effective way to prevent an ACL injury is the stretch and strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings in the thighs. Athletes should learn to squat, lunge, jump, etc. and land without applying too much force on the knees. And don't do any workouts that may be too strenuous on the knees. Start slow and build up from there.


Here are a few examples of stretches that can help strengthen the thigh muscles and lower the risk of ACL injuries:

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For more stretches that can help strengthen the thigh muscles and lower the risk of ACL injuries, click on this link:

https://www.ct-ortho.com/pdf/acl_injury_prevention_program.pdf

Works Cited

"Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries-Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, 14 Nov. 2014.

Web. 14 Dec. 2015.


"Summit Medical Group - Hamstring Strain Exercises." Summit Medical Group - Hamstring Strain Exercises. N.p., 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.


"What Happens When the ACL Tears?" What Happens When the ACL Tears? N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.