Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture
ACL tears or rupture Is an unfortunately common & severe sports event. 70% of ACL tears occur without contact, typically when a player sidesteps at speed while trying to avoid an opponent. The knee hyperextends on contact with the ground, tearing the ligament.
The amount of pain and swelling that occurs is usually due to other injuries such as meniscal tearing, bone bruising/ fracture or damage to other ligaments. The outcome after reconstruction depends on the meniscal cartilages. Damage to these results in long-term osteoarthritis.
If the ligament is not reconstructed prior to attempting to return to sport or activity, the knee can buckle or pivot when changing direction and cause further meniscal damage. The best time to reconstruct the joint is after the first injury with missed ACL tears being a major cause of osteoarthritis.