The anterior cruciate ligament is found in the front of the knee and its primary purpose is to maintain stability. Like all ligaments, it is susceptible to tears and ruptures, which cause considerable pain and swelling.
What are the main causes of anterior cruciate ligament injuries?
Most anterior cruciate ligament injuries happen during sports activities. The ligament may tear when you change direction or pivot with your foot firmly planted on the ground. Football tackles, car accidents, awkward landings from jumps, and falls sustained during downhill skiing can all cause damage to the ligament.
How do doctors diagnose ligament injuries?
An anterior cruciate ligament injury can be confirmed following an MRI scan of the knee. An X-ray may also be required to check for any bone damage that may have occurred in conjunction with the injury.
How do doctors treat ligament injuries?
Initial treatment for an anterior cruciate ligament injury aims to reduce the pain and swelling in your knee. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries bleed internally and it is therefore essential for you to ice and rest your knee. Where possible, you should aim to keep your knee raised above the level of your heart.
Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor may decide you need surgery. Surgery involves transferring tendon tissue from your arm or thigh to reconstruct your knee joint.
Whether or not you undergo knee surgery, you will require a period of rehabilitation. Therapy may include:
• The use of crutches and/or a knee brace
• Range-of-motion exercises to help you to regain full knee motion
• Muscle stability exercises
Prognosis for anterior cruciate ligament injuries
If you are lucky enough to avoid complications, you should be able to return to your everyday activities following rest and rehabilitation. However, you will be at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis, in which the cartilage in your knee deteriorates and its surface roughens.
Making a claim for an anterior cruciate ligament injury
If you have suffered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may wish to claim for compensation through a personal injury solicitor.
At Accident Advice Helpline, we pride ourselves on offering expert advice on knee injury claims. Our professional advisers will aid you in determining whether you are eligible for compensation and will be able to pass your case onto a solicitor of ours who will pursue a claim on your behalf. To find out more about making a claim, call our freephone helpline or use our 30-second compensation calculator.
Date Published: 26th July 2013
Author: David Brown