M At The Doctor

Operation of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee

This is the classic accident ski or football: the foot remains attached to the ground, held by the ski binding, or the cleats of the shoe, and the body is tilted to the side causing a lateral twist of the knee. We hear a big "crack".

We feel a violent pain. And it's probably the anterior cruciate ligament that broke. If so, an operation will probably be necessary. How does it go, what are the operative sequences?

The anterior cruciate ligament of the knee: what is it?

First, it is important not to confuse ligament and tendon:

  • The tendon is the end of a muscle. That's what makes it possible to move a joint.
  • The ligament, on the contrary, is a passive element in the joint. It combines two bones and helps stabilize the joint, to avoid anarchic movements.

In the knee, there are two ligaments that intersect. Hence their name: the posterior cruciate ligament and the one we are interested in, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), located further forward and more fragile than the other. The anterior cruciate ligament of the knee joins the femur to the tibia.

What is the use of this ligament?

Like any ligament, it serves to stabilize the joint. In this case, for the knee joint: forward and backward. It is solicited in rotational movements and lateral movements.

It is therefore subject to very severe constraints in the sports of pivot (football, ski, judo, tennis, squash, etc.), as well as during physical activities that are kneeling, during some work force.

You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? Appointment in our FORUMS Surgery or A doctor answers you!

Read also :

> Knee Pain: Causes and Treatments
> Knee prosthesis: what you need to know
> Sports injuries: how to avoid them?

Author: Sylvie Charbonnier
Expert consultant: Dr. Philippe Landreau, orthopedic surgeon, member of the office of the French Orthopedic Society.

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