The knee consists of three main joints: the femur, the tibia, and the kneecap. All three of the joints are attached by several ligaments, which help give your joint strength and stability. One of these ligaments is called the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and it’s located in the center of the knee, limiting the rotation and forward movement of the tibia.
How Can You Tell If You Have an ACL Injury?
If you are actively playing sports like basketball, soccer, or you ski often, you may be prone to ACL injuries more than others. It’s important to know that if you injure your ACL, you may not feel immediate pain, even if you do hear a popping noise and your knee gives out. Over time, you will see swelling around the knee and it may hurt if you try to stand and put pressure on it. Keep your weight off the knee until you see Dr. Gitelis and have him evaluate your symptoms.
How To Avoid ACL Tearing
If you have strong and flexible muscles around your knee, it’s possible you can avoid tearing your ACL. Make sure you are exercising regularly to increase muscle power and balance, ultimately improving your core strength and stability. Some tips to reduce the risk of tearing your ACL include:
- Training and conditioning year-round
- Practicing proper landing techniques after jumps (regardless of the sport or activity)
- Strengthen your hamstring and quadriceps muscles as these are the two muscles that work together to bend or straighten the knee. When these two muscles are strong and healthy, they can better protect your leg against any knee injuries.
If you feel as if you may have torn your ACL, make sure you contact Dr. Gitelis today to figure out your next steps and a treatment plan.