The Diagnosis and Treatment Options of Injuries to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament of the Knee
Carson, Robert F.
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The human body relies upon its musculoskeletal system to allow for normal daily function. One very important component of the musculoskeletal system is the knee joint. The knee joint contains many important features, but none are more important in maintaining stability and function than the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL connects the femur to the tibia and is susceptible to injury during many athletic and work activities. Injuries to the ACL can be caused in a number of ways and are found in women in significantly larger numbers than in men. Anatomical, hormonal, and environmental characteristics of females and their athletic activities have been studied to try and shed light on the high rate of ACL tears. Physicians use a variety of tests to accurately diagnose injuries to the ACL. Depending on the severity of the injury and other factors that would put a patient at high risk, the ACL tear can be treated conservatively or with surgical procedures. Surgical procedures are similar for the reconstruction of the ACL, the only difference being which type of graft is used to replace the damaged ACL. Research on ACL reconstruction has focused on which types of graft materials provide the most success in providing stability and returning patients back to athletic activities. Further research will allow for more breakthroughs in the field of ACL injury treatment.