Causes of an ACL Tear

If you suffer from an ACL tear in West Orange, then you should see a doctor as soon as possible. It is one of the most common knee injuries but also one of the most serious.

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which is one of the major ligaments in your knee. When your ACL is torn, it usually sounds like a ‘pop’ in your knee. The subsequent pain should be a clear indication that you have torn your ACL.

An ACL tear usually happens when playing sports, both contact and non-contact. The following are the major causes of ACL tears:

Sudden Change of Direction

When playing sports, a sudden change of direction is a great way to deceive your opponent. It is also called cutting, stepping, or pivoting. Cutting is popular in sports like football, soccer, and rugby.

You cut by suddenly planting your foot and changing direction. When you plant your foot, all your weight gets distributed to it. If you plant it wrong or if your knee is not strong enough, it will tear your ACL due to too much stress.

Landing on One Leg

Many sports also involve jumping high into the air; basketball and volleyball for example. When you jump high, you can fall and land on one foot. If you land incorrectly on a single leg, your knee is bound to take the sheer amount of force. An ACL tear will be the result of such an awkward landing.

Not bending your knee when you land after a high jump is the main cause of ACL tears. Bending your knees ensures the force of the jump is distributed all over your lower body when you land.

Direct Hit to the Knee

For contact sports such as football and rugby, getting hit is a regular occurrence. It is part of the reason why many people enjoy contact sports.

Hits to the abdomen, chest, and thighs are fine. However, when a planted foot is hit with the full force of a tackler, it is very easy to tear your ACL. A strong hit will either cause the knee to extend outwards or bend inwards. Such direct hits cause the worst of ACL tears.

Suddenly Stopping While Running

There is a lot of force going through an athlete’s body when they are running at full speed. If they suddenly stop, the muscles and ligaments have to handle all that force. If they can’t handle that force, a tear is bound to happen, and in most cases, it is an ACL tear.

The entire body weight has to be shifted for such an athlete to stop safely. On the contrary, when they do not distribute their weight, the ACL will hyper-extend and cause the ligament to tear.

Repeated Blows to the Knee

Contact sports also mean repeated blows to certain areas. Repeated hits to the knees when running with a football, or repeated low kicks to the knee in MMA can have devastating consequences, including an ACL tear.

Repeated blows to the knee cause the ACL to gradually lose its elasticity. In the end, it may be a slight blow that causes the final tear of the ACL.