We’ve seen it before — an unfortunate situation where an athlete lands awkwardly and falls to the ground grabbing their knee. The first thought that typically occurs among those watching is, “uh-oh, I hope it isn’t an ACL injury!” What exactly is the ACL though? And why is it injured so frequently?
The knee joint is made up of the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia). Connecting these two bones of the knee are four primary ligaments; one of which is called the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL attaches on a diagonal, which allows it to withstand high stress during lateral cutting and rotational activity. If these dynamic movements are not well controlled with our muscles the ligament can easily become overloaded.