Risk Factors For ACL Injury

by Administrator 19. October 2015 11:23

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four ligaments that connect the femur to the tibia in the knee joint. It helps to prevent sudden twisting and hyperextension of the knee as well as provides rotational stability to the joint. ACL injury occurs when the ligament gets torn or stretched due to excessive stress. The injury may be the result of a sudden fall or change of direction with a foot planted on the ground.

Though there are many causes for an ACL injury, certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of suffering the injury. Some of these are:

  • Gender: Women have a tendency to bend their knees towards the middle of the body while doing athletic movements such as pivoting, twisting or landing. The medical term for this phenomenon is ‘valgus knee angle’. This can make the ACL saggy, thereby, making it susceptible to injury. Differences in pelvis and lower extremity alignment, increased ligament laxity, muscular strength and neuromuscular control can also increase the risk for ACL injury.
  • Environmental factors: Although a higher level of friction between the ground surface and shoes is associated with a good sports performance, this can increase the risk of ACL injuries. Therefore, grounds having artificial grass will pose a greater threat to the ACL.
  • Age: ACL injuries are most commonly seen in people between the age group of 15 and 45 years. This may be due to a physically active life and participation in sports activities.
  • Muscular imbalances: Any kind of muscular imbalance in the knee can put pressure on the ACL ligament. During sports activities, women tend to use quadriceps more as compared to hamstrings. The quads are majorly responsible for straightening the knee and landing on their support causes a straight leg. This stiff posture can lead to damage in the ACL.
  • Excessive physical fatigue: Playing only a single sport throughout the year puts the same physical demands on your body repetitively. This can ultimately lead to biomechanical changes and muscle imbalances. When stress on the knee muscles increases, it can increase the risk for an ACL injury.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of ACL injury, visit Dr. Kouyoumjian. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon in Frisco, TX, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy Suite 180, Frisco, Texas 75034.

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Torn ACL: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 21. August 2014 08:09

Torn ACL injuries are caused due to straightening of the knee beyond its normal limits and it is also known as hyper-extended knee. Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a second or third degree sprain of the ACL. The ACL is one of the ligaments that connects the thigh bone (femur) to shin bone (tibia) and helps to stabilize the knee joint. Making sudden jumps or landing from jumps can injure the knee, causing hyperextension which puts stress on the knee and results in its stretching and tearing. This tear may be partial or complete as the knee becomes unstable and buckles.

Causes:

  • Sports and fitness activities can cause injuries to the knee, when the foot is firmly planted and the knee locks and pivots at the same time. Sports like football, basketball, soccer and gymnastics cause sudden change in direction which stresses and damages the ligaments.
  • Landing or making a jump, especially when the leg is bent or straightened which usually happens in basketball.
  • Missing steps while walking on staircase, stepping into a hole, falling off from moderate or extreme heights, stopping suddenly when leg is bent or straightened.
  • Collision during contact sports such as football.
  • Sudden blows due to car accident.

Symptoms:

  • When the knee is injured, a feeling that the knee is giving out from under is experienced. Other symptoms include:
  • A “pop” sound at the time of injury.
  • The knee becomes unstable and within 6 hours of injury, the knee swells. There may be internal bleeding in the joint.
  • Intense pain is experienced in the injured knee.
  • Knee cannot be moved and there is loss of range of motion.
  • The knee becomes tender and pain makes it difficult to walk or bear weight.

Diagnosis:

  • Before starting the treatment, the doctor carefully examines the knee to check for swelling and tenderness and to ascertain whether the ACL has been torn. Physical examinations include:
  • X-Rays –It does not show injury to the ACL but helps to determine whether the knee has any broken bones or not.
  • MRI scan – MRI creates proper imaging of the soft tissues and injuries to the ACL can be clearly seen.

Treatment:

Torn ACL can be treated both surgically and non-surgically. Surgical treatment may be required for young athletes who need to return to the sports while less active and elderly people can do without surgery. Non-Surgical treatment is best for those who have a very low activity level. If the stability of the knee is intact, braces can be used to stabilize the knee and crutches can be used to avoid putting weight on the legs while walking. Physical Therapy can be used to rehabilitate the knee to restore its normal function. However severe ACL tears have to be surgically reconstructed by orthopedic surgeons and may take six months or more to heal fully. It is advised to properly rest the treated knee for first few months. Strengthening exercises gradually help restore the normal functioning slowly and return the normal range of motion.

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Sports Medicine: Orthopedic Frisco

by Administrator 21. April 2014 08:42

Injuries are a part and parcel of any sport, and this is the reason why the importance of sports medicine as a field is growing. These injuries could pertain to any part of the body and can be sustained during exercise or any other physical activity. Read on to know about the various types of sports injuries and how an orthopedic sports surgeon in Frisco could help you with the treatment of the same.

Knee injuries constitute a major part of sports medicine cases in Frisco. These can occur in many forms such as a knee sprain, torn ligaments, damaged tissues and cartilage and pain in the knee. The major cause of such injuries is the undue pressure on the knee cap. Ice compression and anti-inflammatory medications are commonly used methods for treating knee injuries. For torn ACL injuries, one can consult an orthopedic surgeon.

Shoulder injuries can be another source of concern for any sportsperson. These are caused primarily due to damage to the rotator cuff, which is a group of tendons that support the shoulder. Shoulder dislocation or shoulder sprains and strains can be quite problematic and the pain might just move forward into the arms. For treating shoulder injuries, rest and ice compression are the best remedies.

Ankle sprains and fractures are a common occurrence in sportspersons and they are majorly a result of jumping and running activities. Ankle injuries are synonymous with pain and swelling. Ice compression can help and it is advised not to rest the ankle too much but to move it gently as far as possible.

Elbow injuries are commonly found in sportspersons who are heavily involved in playing tennis. Repeated movements with the elbows can result in pain and inflammation. The range of treatment options vary from a simple ice compression to an extensive physiotherapy routine and a prolonged break from the sport. The best way to avoid such an injury is to do elbow-strengthening exercises.

Problems related to hips are also quite common. Athletes who are regularly involved in running and jumping activities complain of hip pain. This can result in pain and inflammation. The best way to overcome a hip injury is to stretch and strengthen the muscles through exercise. Other than that, the injury should be given considerable time to heal, else it could become chronic in nature.

Sports injuries can have a significant impact on an athlete’s performance. At times, the severity of the injury might even demand going in for a joint replacement procedure. The maxim to be borne in mind here is that ‘prevention is better than cure’.

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