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Sprained knee injury of the anterior cruciate ligament definition, causes, symptoms and signs

Definition of the lesion of the anterior cruciate ligament

The achievement of the anterior cruciate ligament occurs during knee trauma and especially during a knee sprain. The twist of the joint causes stretching, tearing or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, and undermines the stability of the knee.

The disease may be mild because of the simple stretching, or severe by rupture of anterior cruciate ligament.

Other lesions may be associated (cartilage, menisci, fracture ...).

Origins and consequences of a knee sprain

The anterior cruciate ligament is often achieved in sporting accidents, highway or rough handling during false (blocked foot and knee twists). Skiing is alone provider of knee sprains 50,000 per year.

The achievement of the cruciate ligaments sign in general a serious breach, with important consequences for knee instability, chronic pain, meniscal lesions and risk of osteoarthritis.

Causes of a sprained knee injury of the anterior cruciate ligament

The knee joint comprises a plurality of ligaments (two collateral ligaments and two cruciate ligaments) which connect the femur to the tibia or fibula.

The cruciate ligaments are inside the joint with the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL and the posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL.
The knee sprain is a movement that causes a stretch or tear more or less complete ligaments.

In sports accidents, the anterior cruciate ligament is most frequently achieved.

Symptoms and signs of a knee sprain

In case of isolated injury of the anterior cruciate ligament pain is small and there is not necessarily signs of swelling or joint swelling.

Otherwise, the symptoms are acute knee pain and swelling associated with joint effusion (hemarthrosis).

Walking is often still possible and impossible to lay the ground by foot is rare.

With what must we not confuse a knee sprain?

It should not be confused with sprains fractures.

A fracture is a bone injury by tearing or bone breakage, while the concerns sprain ligaments. Conversely, a sprain can be complicated fracture because the stretching of the ligament sometimes hard bone on which it is inserted. An x-ray is often necessary in case of breach to eliminate this complication.

Will it possible prevention in knee sprain?

The best prevention is still a good physical preparation, proper warm-up and a conservative sport.

The ACL is the ligament most often broken knee.
Football, basketball, volleyball, judo and especially skiing (30% of sprains) require good physical condition.

The drive includes a cardiovascular general component (cycle, jogging, swimming, step for endurance) and a more specific aspect of building muscle, especially around the knee (stretching, weight training with weight ...).

Knee sprain: when to consult?

If knee pain after trauma, consider that it is a sprain and seek prompt medical attention if one knee specialist (sports doctor, orthopedic ...).

In the meantime, do not walk, apply ice to the joint and extend the leg.

What does the doctor deal with a knee injury?

The doctor will clarify the mechanism of injury (torsion, blocked up, crunch ...) and will practice a specific examination for abnormal movements of the joint.

Radiography is often proposed to remove a bone injury, but it does not allow to visualize the ligaments. Only MRI may show a lesion cruciate ligament or meniscus.
Treatment includes rest, painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications and immobilization with a splint. Icing reduces pain and edema.

The judgment of the sport is desirable, but physical therapy helps maintain activity to avoid the stiffness of the joint.

Surgical treatment is seldom urgent and involves repairing ligament (ligament arthroscopic). It is proposed in case of knee instability in a young patient with a sport.

How to prepare for my next visit?

We must not neglect a knee pain and risk not diagnose an isolated involvement of the cruciate ligament. The risk of functional disability and pain exist, as the risk of osteoarthritis. Discuss this with your doctor who will direct you.

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