What are ACL Tears?
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments in the knee. It is an important stabilizer of the knee and prevents the shin bone (tibia) from sliding in front of the thigh bone (femur).
The ACL is susceptible to injury. It is most likely to be injured during activity or by impact.
A torn ACL is a common injury for athletes at all levels, but it is most common for people who are active or who experience impact injuries to the knee.
Causes of ACL Tears
ACL injuries can happen to anyone of any age, condition, or ability, and they can be injured in many ways. Examples include abruptly changing direction, slowing down while running, landing incorrectly, or getting struck by someone or some object.
Several studies have shown that female athletes can get ACL injuries at a higher rate than male athletes. It has been proposed that this is because of differences in physical conditioning, muscular strength, and neuromuscular control. Other causes include differences in how the pelvis fits with the leg and ligaments’ integrity. Estrogen also is considered to play a part in why this may be the case.
About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament happen along with other damage in the knee. Examples include damage to the articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments such as the medial collateral ligament.
Orthopedists categorize ACL tears into 3 grades:
Grade 1 Tears
A partial-thickness ACL tear is a type of ACL tear where only a portion of the ACL is torn. This can be treated by Perc-ACLR.
Grade 2 Tears
A full-thickness, non-retracted ACL tear is when the ligament has been torn completely. The ligament still has not pulled apart or snapped back. This can be treated with the Perc-ACLR.
Grade 3 Tears
A grade 3 tear is a full-thickness tear that extends across the ACL and unlike a Grade 2 the ligament has pulled apart. This means that the two pieces of the ligament have pulled apart or maybe even snapped back like a rubber band. This cannot be treated with Perc-ACLR.