Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture
The anterior cruciate ligament is commonly injured, patients usually describing a twisting mechanism with painful instability, or a painful back kneeing or hyperextension of the knee. The injury may be associated with a sensation of popping or crunching and is often associated with the rapid subsequent development of swelling and stiffness.
In these circumstances the diagnosis should always be suspected, and patients presenting in this way are usually x-rayed before being referred for assessment by a senior physiotherapist or knee surgeon, following which further medical imaging will usually be arranged.
The treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries has advanced considerably during the last decade and should surgical treatment be required it is now performed arthroscopically using techniques that facilitate accelerated rehabilitation. Any injuries to the shock absorbing cartilages or running surfaces of the knee can then be treated simultaneously.