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Health Tips / Knee - Cruciate Ligament

Diagnosis and Symptons

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the smallest of the four main ligaments in the knee and is primarily responsible for stability when an athlete changes direction.

Many soccer stars including Alan Shearer, Paul Gascoigne and Roy Keane made successful recoveries following surgery to repair rupture of this ligament.


Those affected will normally be able to run straight ahead with no apparent difficulty. However, a change in direction will make the knee collapse with little or no warning. The severity of the injury is determined by the extent of damage to the ligament which in some cases may be completely severed. Swelling, pain and stiffness normally occur quickly after the initial injury and may make full diagnosis difficult.

Preventative measures

Proper warm-up and stretching is essential. Leg muscle strengthening through exercises and weights may also prove beneficial. Flexibility and strength of tendons and leg muscles such as quadriceps and hamstrings is essential so they can absorb stress and shock.


For serious injury always consult your doctor or physiotherapist. 
To find a Chartered Physiotherapist in your area check

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00