The World of ACL Reconstruction
The anterior cruciate ligament, better known as the ACL, along with the MCL (medial collateral ligament), LCL (lateral collateral ligament), and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), is one of the four major ligaments within the knee. (Slowik, EhealthMD, 2011) A ligament is a strong structure made of connective tissue which maintains the stability of a joint within the body. This ligament, like the others, maintains stability within the knee, while also minimizing stress across the knee joint. The ACL’s primary function in stability is to keep the tibia (the lower leg bone) from having too much forward movement in relation to the femur (the thigh bone), making it arguably the most important ligament of the major four. (Slowik, EhealthMD, 2011)
When injury occurs to this ligament the ligament is either partially torn or fully torn. A partially torn ACL may not need surgery, but this is often a hard decision to make for most doctors. Doctors decide based upon how much instability the knee has, and if the patient feels a major sensation of the knee “giving way.” In the matters of a fully torn ACL there is no question that reconstructive surgery must occur for the knee joint to be fully healthy again. Although, in certain cases, depending on a person’s daily activity level the ACL does not need to be fixed. A person can lead a normal life without an ACL, meaning carrying out normal daily task. However, for those that are going back to activity that will put continuous stress on the knee joint (i.e. athletes, construction workers, etc.) reconstructive surgery must occur.
People who suffer these injuries will notice certain symptoms at the time of injury. The first symptom that only 40% of people feel is a “popping” sensation. This sensation is actually the tearing of the ligament tissue. If there is no “popping” sensation then there are other telling signs that there has been an injury to your own ACL. For example, immediate...