Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do skateboarders get ACL tears?"
I'm always hearing about ACL tears and other skaters. Is this a risk for me? I have had some knee pain
The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the ligaments that connects the femur to the tibia and helps to stabilize the knee joint. It is in general a very strong ligament, but is susceptible to damage with a particular type of injury. The classic mechanism for an ACL tear is when the knee undergoes trauma in which it bends inward while the foot is firmly planted. This is a commonly encountered injury in football as a result of an ugly tackle, but can also occur in a variety of other settings and sports, including skateboarding. Generally an ACL tear is a dramatic injury which results in significant sudden pain and subsequent swelling around the knee joint. Often a popping sound will be heard at the time of the injury. Afterwards, the knee may feel unstable and the person may feel like the knee will buckle with walking. If you suspect a knee injury, then you should seek out the care of your primary physician. There are certain physical exam maneuvers that can help determine if your ACL has been damaged. If your exam does point towards this type of injury, an MRI can confirm the tear and then referral to an orthopedic surgeon can be made.
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