Often with knee injuries, the ACL becomes damaged or torn. In fact, this
is quite common. Each year, about 300,000 people worldwide undergo surgery
to repair a damaged ACL. The injury is common among athletes, and it can
also occur in the workplace in jobs that require physical exertion. Women
are more susceptible to such injuries than are men. Studies have shown
that the reason for this may be that in sports, women tend to hold their
trunks and hips in a more erect posture while performing running and jumping
When an ACL injury occurs, the knee becomes less stable. Such instability
will make sudden pivoting movements difficult. This type of damage to
the knee may also make you prone to developing arthritis and cartilage
tears. While you may still enjoy daily activities with little discomfort,
pivoting activities or sports may prove difficult. The symptoms of an
ACL injury may include a sudden giving way of the knee, a “pop”
at the time of the injury, or a sudden swelling of the knee joint and
pain in the knee when walking.
An ACL injury may be treated without surgery through rehabilitation and
bracing. This is primarily effective for people who do not participate
in pivoting activities or who are willing to give up high-risk sports
and focus on low-impact activities like cycling and swimming. Although
such a change may eliminate your ability to enjoy the sports and activities
you love, it also significantly reduces your chances for further injury.
A custom-made brace may also ease the pain associated with an ACL injury.
If the soccer field, tennis court, or ski slopes continue to beckon you
after you’ve suffered an ACL injury, arthroscopic surgery may provide
the best treatment option to restore your active lifestyle.