By Dr. Sunil Kumar Dash, Orthopaedics
The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most delicate yet vital ligaments that holds the knee bones in place and stabilizes the movement. Injury to the ligament, on account of a sprain, can prove to be a cause of severe distress. This may lead to a partial or a complete destabilization of the knee joints and impair the normal movements to a great extent.
Some of the most common causes of this sort of a ligament tear are accidental injuries during a sporting activity, unexpected collision or incorrect body postures. This is a fairly common occurrence among the athletes. However, the physiological and neuromuscular controls make women more susceptible to damage to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament than men.
There are two cruciate ligaments in our body, i.e. the anterior and the posterior cruciate ligaments. They run in crosses to connect the insides of the knee joints. They regulate the back and forth movement of your knees. They, therefore, may incur substantial damage through sudden movements like jerks or an abrupt change of direction; the degree of tear may vary from minor strains to complete detachment. Accordingly, treatments are available to cure the distress. The treatments may either be surgical or nonsurgical, depending on the extent of the injury as well as the age of the patient. A complete tear in the ligament necessitates surgery for recovery. However, one may choose to opt for other non – surgical methods to minimize the damage.
Some of the most effective treatments for a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament have been enlisted below:
1. Bracing: Wearing a brace or using a crutch for the purpose of movement can accord the knees with some stability. It also keeps the joints intact and alleviates pain.
2. Physiotherapy: Once the inflammation reduces, you may opt for physiotherapy to restore movement and reduce the pain. Heat and Ice therapies work as ideal adjuvants to physiotherapy in such cases.
3. Surgery: Regrowth of the anterior cruciate ligament may be possible through a surgical process of grafting. This enables the tissues to repair themselves. Knee caps and adequate rest accord better rehabilitation. The recovery is faster and steadier in this process.