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DAMAGED ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT (ACL)
Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common knee injuries, often occurring in athletes or active individuals, especially those involved in sports that require quick changes of direction and jumping, such as soccer, basketball, or volleyball. It can also occur on unstable surfaces during skiing or skating.
The most common mechanisms of ACL injury are sudden twisting of the knee with a fixed limb, falling on skis without releasing the bindings, or sudden stopping or changing direction during running. ACL injury can also result from falls from heights or car accidents.
Symptoms of ACL damage include:
- Instability of the knee joint
- Difficulty in moving
- Feeling of fullness in the knee
- In some cases of ACL injury, the patient may experience a “giving way” sensation in the knee joint.
Diagnosis of ACL after injury includes a physical examination, including assessing the range of motion and stability of the joint, as well as imaging studies such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging studies are necessary to determine the extent of the injury and to check for any additional pathologies, such as meniscus tears, articular surface damage, or other ligament injuries.
Post-injury management of ACL damage often involves limiting weight-bearing, using crutches, applying ice, taking pain medications, sometimes immobilizing the joint with a brace, as well as physiotherapy and muscle-strengthening exercises.
In the case of surgical ACL injuries (90%), surgical treatment is necessary – ACL reconstruction, which is performed to reconstruct the damaged ligament and, consequently, restore full stability and range of motion to the joint after healing. Rehabilitation and muscle-strengthening exercises are necessary after the operation.Return to high-level sports is usually planned about a year after the surgery, after completing the entire rehabilitation process.
At MIRAI, the following individual specializes in the knee area:
Tomasz Szymański – material development for the website
Feel free to visit us!