Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
More commonly known as the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament connects the thighbone to the shinbone in the middle of the knee. It prevents the shinbone from sliding out in front of the thighbone. Overstretching or tearing can cause an ACL injury. Most ACL tears occur in the middle of the ligament or the ligament is pulled off of the thighbone, which form a gap that cannot heal on its own.
ACL injuries are often associated with sports. The following movements can result in an ACL injury:
- Getting hit hard on the side of your knee
- Stopping suddenly and changing direction
- Overextending the knee joint
Football, basketball, soccer, and skiing are commonly linked to ACL injuries. You may hear a popping sound at the time of the injury, and swelling most often occurs within the first six hours. It may feel unstable and be too painful to bear weight on that leg.
See your doctor if you think you’ve suffered an ACL injury.
Those who have suffered an ACL injury are at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee, where the cartilage of the knee joint deteriorates.
If you think you’ve injured your ACL, wrap your knee in an Arctic Ease Cold Wrap. The cold therapy helps ease the pain while the compression helps relieve the swelling.
Your doctor will determine if you need surgery after performing an x-ray and/or MRI. Typically athletes who want to return to sports will opt for surgical reconstruction to prevent recurring instability.
All ACL injuries should be treated with physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize the knee. You may need crutches and a knee brace.
While you recover from your ACL injury, wrap your knee in Arctic Ease. The wraps are reusable, so after wearing it for up to three hours, roll it back up and place it back in the container. Add an ice cube and allow the wrap to rehydrate for two to three hours or pop the container in the fridge for enhanced cooling.
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