Did you know that most ACL tears actually happen over time? Imagine gradually cutting a thick rope with a knife. Each fiber of the rope splits and retracts, making the rope weaker with each missing fiber—this is actually what some ACL ligaments of the knee go through over time. In this already weakened state, it only takes the smallest force to actually tear the ligament, rendering it unable to stabilize the knee.
These small tears occur over time as demands are placed on your knee. If the force and load being placed on the knee are too great for the muscular system to absorb at the time, it will then be displaced to the knee. While the knee will absorb that force, it may result in a fiber tear.
How can you determine if you have knee instability? It’s actually visible to the naked eye. You may observe that your knee is falling into an inward motion when you push off or land during performance. There are many factors that go into preventing this from happening to you, including sleep, hydration, stress management, and nutrition. To determine if your knee is unstable, contact us for an evaluation. You do not need a doctor’s prescription to see us, but if we find out you do need a physician we have a close network of the top physicians who treat ACLs that we will refer you to directly.
Debbie Dieter-Barker, PT, DPT
Ramsey Clinic Director