If you’re an athlete or know someone who is, then you’ve probably heard of the dreaded ACL injury. ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which describes the ligament in the knee that aids in preventing the tibia (shinbone) from sliding in front of the femur (thigh bone), as well as providing stability to the rotation of the knee. Healthy Knee                           Knee w/ ACL Tear knee acl knee Copyright ©1995-2014 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons The ACL Injury is so common that physicians see approximately 200,000 of them each year, with 100,000 requiring ACL reconstruction surgeries. Women are more likely than men to injure their ACL due to physical and hormonal differences to men. Soccer, Football, Basketball and Skiiing are all considered high-risk sports for this type of injury. Causes: • A hard hit to the side of the knee • Overextension of the knee joint • Sudden change in direction or pivot Symptoms: • “Popping” sound at time of injury • Swelling of the knee within 6 hours of the injury • Pain in the knee that increases when weight is applied Treatment: If you think you have an ACL Injury, see a doctor immediately and discontinue all activities. Treatment is based upon a patients individual needs, but the majority of ACL injuries will require surgery. Rehabilitation can take several months, especially if surgery is needed. Treatment right after the injury can include the following: • Rest & Elevation of the Leg • Cold Therapy application to reduce swelling • Knee Brace or Knee Support to aid in stabilizing the knee • Acetaminophen or Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Prevention: • Stretch & Strengthen leg muscles with exercises like leg presses, squats and lunges • Cross-training exercises like elliptical, stair climber and stationary bike • Learning to jump and pivot correctly can help athletes prevent injuries     Resources: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/ http://www.apta.org/ http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001074.htm http://www.medicinenet.com/torn_acl/article.htm          

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