Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dr. Carter speaks at the Arthroscopy Association of North America

Dr. Carter spoke on the topic of using allografts for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament at the annual fall meeting of the Arthroscopy Association of North America November 6th and 7th. 

What is the ACL? The anterior cruciate ligament 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.

A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) results from overstretching of this ligament when certain movements of the knee put too great a strain on the ACL. It is usually due to a sudden stop and twisting motion of the knee, or a force or "blow" to the front of the knee.

Basically any athletic or non-athletic related activity in which the knee is forced into hyperextension and/or internal rotation may result in an ACL tear.

Often those are non-contact activities with the mechanism of injury usually involving:

* Planting and cutting - the foot is positioned firmly on the ground followed by the leg (and body for that matter) turning one direction or the other. Example: Football or base
ball player making a fast cut and changing direction.

* Straight-knee landing - results when the foot strikes the ground with the knee straight.Example: Basketball player coming down after a jump shot or the gymnast landing on a dismount.

* One-step-stop landing with the knee hyperextended - results when the leg abruptly stops while in an over-straightened position.Example: Baseball player sliding into a base with the knee hyperextended with additional force upon hyperextension.

* Pivoting and sudden deceleration resulting from a combination of rapid slowing down and a plant and twist of the foot placing extreme rotation at the knee. Example: Football or soccer player quickly slowing down followed by a quick turn in direction.



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