PERSONAL ACL GUIDE
(following personal injury)
You have probably seen it on TV numerous times, or know someone who has had this injury. But hopefully you are lucky enough to have not experienced an ACL injury yourself.
WHAT IS AN ACL?
It stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament and out of the 4 ligaments in your knee, it is
the main stabilising ligament. It keeps your knee secure and stable without it giving
So how do you injure an ACL?
The ligament can be injured in two different ways, either through direct contact with someone else or via a non-contact injury.
A direct contact injury could be another person falling across the injured knee. However, research suggests this accounts for less than 30% of ACL injuries, with approximately 70% due to situations that do not involve direct contact, things like wear and tear, micro damage over time.
What happens with an ACL injury?
When the ligament is torn (which is also referred to as a rupture) the person will feel a big pop in their knee. This is usually accompanied with sudden excruciating pain and the knee feeling like it has given way. When I tore my ACL last football season, I was gathering the ball and was preparing to quickly change directions; as my knee planted I twisted my leg and felt a large pop in my knee which just buckled as I fell to the ground. I went down clutching my knee and was in immense pain. The good news for me was that this pain only lasted for 1-2 minutes. By the time that the sports trainer had come out onto the ground with a stretcher I was no longer in physical pain, but was starting to understand the concept of knowing I had done some serious damage to my
knee and that my season would likely be over.
Once in the football change rooms I noticed there was already some significant swelling over the knee and I found it hard to bend my knee, Ice was applied to the knee as well as a compression bandage. Unfortunately I left the ground on crutches, but at least my team left with the victory.
In the next “kneestallment” I’ll discuss diagnosis, doctors, scans/imaging & surgery vs non-surgery treatment.
Dr Daniel Castellano