If you are a soccer, basketball, or football player, I am positive you know someone that has torn or sprained their ACL.

Unfortunately, it is a very common injury. During my soccer career, I have seen several teammates and players tear their ACL,  which then required months to a year or more of recovery. But, don’t let this get you down.

If you are one of the many athletes with an ACL tear, don’t worry, as there are healing and recovery options that will help get you back to playing your sport as quickly as possible. However, with this type of injury, it is also important to remember that patience is essential due to the sensitivity of the knee injury.

In the article to follow, we will review what an ACL tear is, how it occurs, and what you can do to improve and quicken your recovery while preventing any further injury.

 

The Best Hinged Knee Braces for ACL Anterior Cruciate Ligament

What is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)?

There are two cruciate ligaments in your knee, that are in the form of an “X”. The anterior cruciate ligament runs in front and diagonally in the middle of the knee, while the posterior cruciate ligament runs in the back. Together, they control the motion of the knee.

The ACL is in charge of keeping the tibia in place and providing rotational stability. Thus, if the ACL tears, the tibia will be able to slide in front of the femur, causing pain and preventing normal mobility.

 

How Do You Tear Your ACL?

As mentioned previously, the ACL is most likely to be torn in high impact sports such as soccer, basketball, and football. This is because of the rapid changes in movements and contact of the sports. Additionally, studies have shown that female athletes have had a higher frequency in ACL tears. This could be due to the female pelvis and difference in muscle strength in the outer hip, quad, and hamstring area.

An ACL tear can occur by:

  • Landing incorrectly from a jump.
  • Direct collision or tackle.
  • Stopping or slowing down your run suddenly.
  • Making cutting movements and changing direction quickly.

 

Symptoms

Unfortunately, most ACL injuries simultaneously result in more knee damage, such as meniscus, cartilage, and ligament tears.

Because of the different severities, an ACL injury can be considered either to be a Grade 1 Sprain, Grade 2 Sprain, or Grade 3 Sprain.

  1. Grade 1 Sprain: This type of sprain might not require surgery as it means that the ligament is slightly stretched, but still able to keep the knee in place.
  2. Grade 2 Sprain: This is a partial tear that may very likely require surgery.
  3. Grade 3 Sprain: This type of sprain requires surgery as it is referring to the complete tearing of the ligament. Thus, your knee joint would be totally unstable with this injury.

While there are three kinds of Grades for the ACL injury, it is most common to have either a Grade 2 Sprain or a Grade 3 Sprain. This may also explain why everyone that I know with an ACL injury required surgery, as it is evidently most common to partially or completely tear your ACL.

If you experience an ACL injury, you may feel:

  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Tenderness.
  • An inability to fully move your knee.
  • Your knee giving out and a popping noise.
  • Discomfort when you put weight on your knee, such as in walking or standing.

 

Treatment

There are two treatment options: nonsurgical and surgical. In almost all cases, you will require surgical treatment in order to fully recover and gain stability in your knee again. However, if you live an inactive lifestyle and did not tear your ligament, but only slightly damaged it, as in Grade 1 Sprains, then you may be able to avoid surgery.

Whether you take the surgical route or not, you will need to wear a knee brace after injury and during recovery. If you plan to rejoin your sport, then I would highly recommend you wear a knee brace during participation. (Your doctor, will of course, provide you with more personal guidance and tips to a safe and rapid recovery.)

When choosing a knee brace, be sure to thoroughly examine all options to decide which brace will best meet your needs, as this is an important healing and recovery mechanism.

Consult your doctor for best treatment and recovery.

 

The 3 Best Hinged Knee Braces for ACL Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Hinged knee braces are best, as they provide optimal stability and alignment, while preventing hyperextension and other awkward knee movements.

Below are our top 3 knee braces I suggest for ACL injuries:

1. Range of Motion Hinged Knee Support Brace for Post Op or ACL Tears – Front Closure Gladiator By BioSkin

The Gladiator Hinged Knee Brace is ideal for aiding in the recovery of ACL tears. Its long frame, padding and straps, provide optimal support and stability. The visco-gel ring around the patella will help prevent and keep swelling at a minimum, while the bilateral hinges prevent hyperextension. Another great feature is that this brace is hypoallergenic, meaning 100% latex and neoprene free!

Read Our In-Depth Review of the Gladiator Brace, Here!

2. Shock Doctor 875 Ultra Knee Brace with Bilateral Hinges

This knee brace, Shock Doctor 875, also features bilateral hinges in order to prevent awkward knee movements. Its long frame and straps will keep your knee secured, stable, and aligned. However, it is not latex free.

Read Our In-Depth Shock Doctor Brace Review, Here!

 

3. McDavid 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges

Just like the other two options, this brace has bilateral hinges to provide stability, support, and alignment to your knee during its movements. The McDavid 422 knee brace too features a long frame for extra support. Also, it is made from 100% neoprene and latex free material!

Read Our McDavid 422 Review Here!

 

Summary

ACL tears are painful and may require lengthy, healing process. However, it is important to maintain patience and take all healing and recovery options into account as you want to fully recover and prevent reinjury.

Therefore, I would suggest that post injury, you continue to wear a knee brace during exercise and sport. If needed and recommended by your doctor. This will not only help your knee achieve stability, but it will also help you regain your confidence with your knee movements!

We hope this has been helpful information and welcome any feedback!