Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear ACL Injury

Document Sample
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear ACL Injury Powered By Docstoc
					Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear = ACL Injury
What Is The Anterior Cruciate Ligament?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most
important of four strong ligaments connecting the bones of
the knee joint. It is often injured.

Ligaments are strong, dense structures made of connective
tissue that stabilize a joint. They connect bone to bone across
the joint.

The function of the ACL is to provide stability to the knee and
minimize stress across the knee joint. It restrains excessive
forward movement of the lower leg bone (the tibia) in
relation to the thigh bone (the femur). It limits rotational
movements of the knee.

Nationwide Diagnostic Imaging &
Lab Services Scheduling and
Bene t Management
                                                     A tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) results from over-
Ph: 800-331-6062                                     stretching of this ligament within the knee. It's usually due to a
Fax: 708-535-8028                                    sudden stop and twisting motion of the knee, or a force or "blow"
                                                     to the front of the knee. The extent of the tear can be a partial or a
Online:                               complete tear.
Image 1
                    MDM, A DiaTri Company - Diagnostic and Lab Scheduling Services
                     Ph: 800-331-6062 Fax: 708-535-8028 Online:

                    How is a knee ligament injury diagnosed? - In addition to a complete medical
                    history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for a knee ligament injury may include
                    the following: an X-ray, an MRI, a CT/CAT Scan, Arthroscopy, or a Radionuclide Bone Scan.
                    Treatment for knee ligament injuries: Speci                c treatment for a knee ligament injury
                    will be determined by a physician based on: age, overall health, and medical history, extent of the
                    injury, the tolerance for speci c medications, procedures, and therapies.
                    Treatment may include:
                            Muscle-strengthening exercises
                                                                                           Anterior Cruciate
                            Protective knee brace (for use during exercise)                Ligament Tear =
                            Ice pack application (to reduce swelling)
                                                                                              ACL Injury
          Image 2
                    ACL Reconstruction - Although a number of di                  erent types of tissue have been utilized to
                    reconstruct the ACL, the most common type of ACL reconstruction involves harvesting the central third
                    of the patellar tendon with a bone block at each end of the tendon graft. After performing a diagnostic
                    arthroscopic examination of the knee, the central third of the patellar tendon is harvested. (Image 1)
                    The remaining tendon is then repaired. After harvesting the tissue, drill guides are used to place holes into
                    the tibia (Image 2) (bone below the knee) and femur (bone above the knee). By placing the drill holes at
                    the attachment sites of the original ligament, when the graft is pulled through the drill hole and into the
                    knee, it will be placed in the same position as the original ACL. After pulling the graft through the drill
                    holes and into the joint to replace the torn ACL, the graft is then held in place with bioabsorbable screws
          Image 3   or metallic screws. (Image 3) Fastening the graft in this manner allows new blood vessels to grow into the
                    transferred graft and for healing to occur. Typically, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.