ACL Injury Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament Information

ACL Injury Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament Information

An ACL knee injury is actually a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This is medically termed an ACL sprain. It is one of the most common knee injuries, especially among contact sport athletes and athletes participating in high demand sports. Research has shown that women are more likely to suffer an ACL injury than men. While this statistic is poorly understood, many researchers attribute it to women having different muscle function and anatomy structure.

 

Anatomy As It Relates To An ACL Knee Injury

Don’t let size fool you. The anterior cruciate ligament might be the smallest of the main knee ligaments, but its function is vital to knee and leg stability. In fact, of all the knee ligaments, medical research estimates that the ACL provides about 90% of knee joint stability.

There are two main muscles associated with bending and straightening the knee via the knee joint. The quadriceps muscle group is involved in extension of the knee and the hamstring muscles are involved in flexion of the lower leg. There are three bones that form the knee joint - the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap). Ligaments act like strong ropes, connecting bone to bone. In the knee, there are two main ligaments inside the knee joint and two main ligaments outside the knee joint. The ACL and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are the two ligaments inside the knee joint. These two ligaments cross in an “X” pattern across the center of the knee, thus they are called the cruciate ligaments. While these ligaments work in conjunction with one another, the ACL specifically controls excessive forward knee motion (where the tibia would slide in front of the femur bone) and inward rotation/twisting motions of the knee.

What Is An ACL Knee Injury?

As mentioned above, this injury actually refers to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. This is medically classified as a sprain. A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. Sprains are graded by the degree of injury to the ligament as follows:

Grade I - mild stretching or microscopic tearing of the ACL ligament that doesn’t leave the knee joint unstable.

Grade II - a partial tear in the ACL ligament that results in the knee joint becoming loose.

Grade III - a complete tear of the ligament that results in knee joint instability. This grade is most common in ACL injuries.

What Causes An ACL Knee Injury?

The ligament is stretched to the point of injury. This may occur due to a number of circumstances including any of the following:

* rapid changes in direction
* sudden stops during running or suddenly slowing down during running
* impact landings with stiff legs and/or on the heels (such as during jumping)
* direct traumatic impact to the area of the knee (front of the knee) where the ACL is located (such as a football tackle or vehicle accident)
* an impact that causes the knee to bend too far backward or twist too far to the side (such as from a fall or slip)

What Are The Symptoms Of An ACL Knee Injury?

Around half of ACL injuries occur alongside damage to other knee structures, such as other ligaments, cartilage, and meniscus injuries. So, the symptoms are often overlapping with concurrent injuries, but general symptoms include any of the following:

* there may be an audible “pop” as the injury occurs
* mild to severe pain and swelling will usually appear within 24 hours of the injury
* local tenderness
* a wobbly feeling about the knee or the knee buckling or giving out during movement
* range of motion limitations
* discomfort during walking, running, jumping, and such
* the pain may occur just from putting weight on the affected leg if the injury is a grade two or three
* localized bruising may occur (especially in cases of direct trauma)

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Torn ACL Ligament Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Torn ACL Ligament Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.


Acute Stage Symptoms:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the knee because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured knee, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured knee as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to reduce swelling, reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation, and break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the knee, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the knee can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

Acute Stage Treatment:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your knee to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the knee. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your knee with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


Chronic Stage Symptoms:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in the knee that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your knee may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your knee you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the knee, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


Chronic Stage Treatment:

 

1. Massage your knee with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. Sinew Injury Poultice and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Apply the Sinew Injury Poultice on your knee to relieve residual pain and stiffness, significantly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and further promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Injury Poultice is particularly useful if your knee is more painful in cold and damp weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

3. Soak your knee with the Sinew Warming Soak to ease joint pain, increase range of motion, and strongly increase local circulation to drive coldness and dampness out of damaged tissues. The Sinew Warming Soak is particularly useful if your knee is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. The soak can be used by saturating a towel in the liquid and applying it to your knee. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Injury Poultice can be used in-between applications.

4. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.