February 7, 2011

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Several people who suffer from certain types of knee injuries are asked to go in for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction or surgery. However, not a lot of people are aware of what the anterior cruciate ligament is and how it can get injured.

It is a well known fact that the ligaments are the dense and strong structures that are made out of connective tissues. The main purpose of the ligaments is to connect one bone to the other, across the joint. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, also known as ACL is a very important ligament in the human body. In fact, it can be regarded as one of the most essential ligaments, since it connects all the bones of the knee joint. The main function of this ligament is that it minimizes any stress felt across the knee joint and provides stability to the knee. In addition to that, it also limits the knee rotational movement and restrains the excessive forward movement of the tibia, which is, the lower leg bone, in relation to the femur, or the thigh bone.

Unfortunately, this ligament is quite prone to injuries, which can occur even while participating in simple sports activities. An ACL injury occurs when there is a tearing of the ligament. Based on the severity of the condition, people may be asked to either go through anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction exercises, or they may need to undergo surgery, in which the ligament is replaced, followed by anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction rehabilitation. Fortunately, ACL injury prevention is possible and is strong recommended for those people who engage in activities that include running, jumping or pivoting.


There are several signs and symptoms that can help people identify an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Given below are some of the most common ACL injury symptoms:

  • The sound of a loud “pop”
  • Intense pain
  • Swelling in the knee area, which may continue to worsen even hours after the injury is first noticed
  • Difficulty to bear weight, accompanied by the feeling of instability

As soon as any of the symptoms mentioned above are noticed, it is important for a person to seek immediate medical attention and undergo ACL injury diagnosis, followed by the appropriate treatment.


The main purpose of the initial ACL injury treatment is to reduce the pain, swelling and the other symptoms in the knee. Thereafter, the joint needs to regain normal movement and the muscles around the knees need to be strengthened. Depending upon the severity of the condition, the medical health care provider may decide whether or not a person needs to undergo surgery, as well as cruciate ligament reconstruction rehabilitation. People who are undergoing rehabilitation therapy for ACL injury recovery may need to use crutches or a knee brace for some time. There are certain exercises that are also usually recommended for such patients. In case of those people who need to continue being involved in sporting activities that require jumping, pivoting, and so on, surgery is usually recommended.

Prevention Program

There are several ways in which athletes, as well as other people can reduce the possibilities of suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Some of the recommended steps for an ACL injury prevention program include:

  • Improving the overall condition of the body and the muscles, with the help of certain exercises
  • Strengthening the hamstrings, as well as the quadriceps
  • Making sure that shoes, or the other sports gear used for example skis, are adjusted properly

In case an ACL injury is not checked and treated in time, it could worsen, thereby leading to certain complications. Hence, it is absolutely essential for people to consult a doctor as soon as such an injury occurs.