Understanding ACL Injuries

knee, ACL injury, Illinois personal injury attorneyThe knee joint is the human body’s largest joint. A complex hinge joint, the knee is the point where the thigh bone—the femur—and the shin bone—the tibia—meet and are connected by a series of ligaments, allowing a person to run, walk, and many other physical activities. Due to the intense weight-bearing properties of knee, it is very susceptible to injuries, particularly among athletes, but also in any type of car or motorcycle accident.

Ligaments of the Knee

Within the knee joint, there are four ligaments that are susceptible to injury. They are frequently referred to by their corresponding abbreviations, but it is important to understand the function of each one:

  • The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of two primary connective ligaments in the knee. It connects the femur directly to the tibia in the middle of the joint and is generally protected from direct trauma by the patella, or kneecap, and the patella tendons;
  • The posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL, is the other primary connective ligament, connecting the femur to the tibia at the back of the joint;
  • The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, connects the femur to the tibia at the inside of the leg; and
  • The lateral collateral ligament, or LCL, connects the femur to the fibula—the smaller lower-leg bone—along the outside of the leg.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an ACL Injury

Whether on the football field, basketball court, or at the side of the road after an accident, an injury to the ACL is often evident by a person’s inability to put weight on the joint. The injured person may also have heard a pop or snap, and an ACL injury often swells quickly, with severe pain and a feeling of looseness in the knee. Diagnosing such an injury may require a doctor or medical professional to drain the swelling first, then use radiological methods, including x-ray and MRI to determine the extent of the damage.

If the injury to the ACL is mild or moderate, the normal treatment guidelines for most physical injuries apply. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation can help reduce swelling and pain while the injury heals. Anti-inflammatory medications may help as well. More serious injuries, such as partial or complete ACL tears, can only be fully repaired through surgical reconstruction, which depending on your particular situation may or may not be the right choice. ACL reconstruction is complex and may require intense rehabilitation, so be sure do discuss the options and risks with your doctor before moving forward.

Legal Representation in Hinsdale

When you have suffered a knee injury as the result of an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to collect compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney to discuss your case and to get the answers you need to whatever questions you may have. Call 630-920-8855 today to schedule your free initial consultation at Martoccio & Martoccio.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/knee-ligament-injuries?page=1

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/ccf/media/Files/ortho/acl-injury-guide.pdf

http://www.livestrong.com/article/398161-exercises-for-a-torn-knee-ligament/

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