Anterior Cruciate Ligament
An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most common knee injuries that occur in sports. Depending on the severity of the injury, an ACL injury can also be one of the most serious knee injuries. Here at Better Braces we provide a variety of products to support or prevent an ACL injury.
How do ACL Injuries happen?
ACL injuries are extremely common in sports that produce high amounts of impact and pressure to the legs such as soccer and basketball. Repeated trauma and sudden movements can cause great amounts of stress to the ACL and result in a mild or complete tear off the ligament.
Examples of high impact movements include:
- Sudden change in direction
- Unstable landing
- Knee collision with another person or object
- Slippery surfaces – loss of stability in knees
In these situations it is common to hear or feel a “popping” sound and have your knees give out instantly with the sudden loss of support. We recommend you see a specialist as soon as possible.
After the injury you may experience:
- Loss of range of motion
- Inability to stand straight after the injury
- Unstable knees
- Pain varies from case to case but is common in most cases
- Swelling and inflammation
- Walking causes discomfort in the joints
An ACL injury is categorised into three grades:
Grade I: Mild damage to the ligament, caused by slightly stretching. The ligament can still keep the knee joint in place and stable.
Grade II: the ligament becomes stretched to the point that it loosens. Usually called a partial tear of the ACL.
Grade III: a complete tear of the ligament. The knee joint becomes unstable as a result.
Depending on the grade of the injury, there are two main options for treatment:
- Non-surgical treatment: Surgery is not required for injuries that have not resulted in a complete tear of the ACL. Also if you do not plan to return to sports or engage only in moderate levels of physical exercise, alternatives such as knee braces and advanced exercises provided by your physiotherapist may be enough. We recommend you seek professional advice to determine if your injury requires surgery.
- Surgical treatment: Is required when there is a complete tear of the ACL. At this stage, the ACL is not able to repair itself without surgery and is the only option for athletes looking to return to sports.
Recovery time from an ACL injury can be anywhere from 1 month to over 12 months and may require complete rehabilitation depending on the severity of the injury. If you are unsure whether you have sustained an ACL injury or how serious the injury may be, please consult your local doctor or physiotherapist immediately if the symptoms continue.
At Better Braces we provide trusted knee braces brands like DonJoy and ProCare. To make sure you provided the best service we have a 30 day money back guarantee and many other services, click on our products to find out more.