Detroit Redwing’s forward, Johan “The Mule” Franzen, will be out at least 4 months due to an injury to his left knee- a torn ACL ligament. Franzen was injured Detroit’s home opener Thursday night, although it is not clear when it happened. According to Wings GM Ken Holland, “I’m a little surprised. He finished the game, said his knee was bothering him, didn’t know exactly when he injured it. The doctor said it happened before he scored his goal. He woke up this morning with his knee swollen and full of fluid.’’ Franzen had scored the game winning goal in the second period of the game.
The knee is essentially a modified hinge joint located where theend of the thigh bone (femur) meets the top of the shin bone(tibia). Four main ligaments connect these two bones:
The ACL and PCL cross each other inside the knee, forming an “X.”
The ACL is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. It can be torn when a twistingforce is applied to the knee while the foot is firmly plantedon the ground or upon landing, or from adirect blow to the knee, usually to the outside of the knee, as may occur during afootball tackle. The most common sports where ACL injuries occur are soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball and skiing. ACL injuries are more common in women for a variety of reasons including anatomical difference and the effect of female hormones on the joints.
The symptoms of a torn ACL include:
As with most such injuries, care immediately after the injury consists of RICE therapy-
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Medical attention should be sought to thoroughly evaluate the injury. If the tear is mild and not completely through the entire ligament, conservative management including immobilization with a knee brace and physical therapy may surfice. If the ligament is completely torn, it can not be repaired, but must be replaced, usually during arthroscopic surgery.