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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