Anterior cruciate injury: A knee injury involving the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL runs diagonally deep inside the knee from the center of rotation of the end of the femur (the thigh bone) to the top of the tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg).
Females are seven times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than their males. The reasons are complex. Women have looser knee joints. In females the Q angle (for quadriceps) is greater and tends to pull the kneecap (patella) out to the side. Their hamstring muscles are generally weaker than their quadriceps, which adds stress to the joint. When men jump they land on both legs with their knees bent, while women land with their knees in a straighter position, putting more stress on the knee joint.
Initial treatment includes ice and anti-inflammatory drugs. The next phase is usually stretching, exercise and physical therapy to rebuild strength and regain motion. The ACL does not heal on its own, but the surrounding knee muscles can be built up through exercise and physical therapy, a process that can take up to a year. Severe ACL injuries, that are complete tears, especially in younger patients, may be surgically repaired. The surgery, usually done by arthroscopy, replaces the ACL with cadaver parts or the patient’s hamstring or patella tendons. Rehabilitation takes at least 6 months.
- Anterior cruciate ligament
Anterior cruciate ligament: A ligament in the knee that crosses from the underside of the femur (the thigh bone) to the top of the tibia (the bigger bone in the lower leg). Abbreviated ACL. Injuries to the ACL can occur in a number of situations, including sports, and can be quite serious, requiring surgery. The […]
- Anterior pituitary
Anterior pituitary: The front portion of the pituitary, a small gland in the head called the master gland. Hormones secreted by the anterior pituitary influence growth, sexual development, skin pigmentation, thyroid function, and adrenocortical function. These influences are exerted through the effects of pituitary hormones on other endocrine glands except for growth hormone which acts […]
- Anterior tongue
Anterior tongue: The front two-thirds of the tongue. In contrast to the base of the tongue, which is the back third. The distinction between the anterior and base of the tongue reflects the fact that they are of different embryological origin. The distinction also matters as regards cancer. See: Tongue cancer.
Antero-: Prefix signifying before, earlier, front. From the Latin anterior meaning before.
Anterograde: Moving forward or extending forward. Anterograde memory is memory for what occurs after an event such as an accident. Also called antegrade. From the Latin antero- + gredior (to step or go).