Six-time world boxing champion MC Mary Kom was recently forced to withdraw from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games roster after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The iconic Indian boxer was only minutes into her 48kg semi-final against Haryana’s Nitu when she twisted her left knee. Doctors performed a scan of Mary Kom’s injury and revealed that she had suffered a complete tear of ACL.
After this, she was suggested reconstruction surgery by the doctor and she was prescribed medication, including painkillers.
What is an ACL Injury?
ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is one of four ligaments in the knee joint that connect the femur (bottom of the femur) to the tibia (top of the tibia). Ligaments are flexible and tough bands of tissue whose main job is to hold the cartilage and bone together.
ACL tears are one of the most common knee injuries experienced mainly by athletes. People who tear their ACL usually feel pain and sometimes a ‘pop’ in their knee. The knee tends to swell after the injury and the patient may feel unstable to walk.
When will it happen?
An ACL tear is most commonly seen by individuals who indulge in sports such as basketball, soccer, skiing, soccer, boxing, and tennis, among others. It has also been seen that women are more likely to have an ACL tear than men because of their different muscle strength, physical condition, and neuromuscular control.
After the injury, the doctor usually performs an X-ray or MRI scan to assess the injury and look for any fractures. While there are non-surgical methods of treating ACL tears that involve physical therapy and rehabilitation, some patients such as Mary Com are advised to have reconstruction surgery.
Reconstructive surgery uses a piece of tissue or graft to rebuild the torn ACL. The graft can be a tendon and is taken from the patient’s own body or from someone else. Recovery from ACL surgery can take 6 to 12 months and patients usually need to use crutches and leg braces to walk afterwards
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