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2010-05-07 digital edition

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2010-05-07 / General Stories

The Anatomy of the Knee

by Alonzo Wood

Without getting too technical, let’s explore the way a human knee is held together.

There are four ligaments responsible for keeping the knee in place and working properly. In front of the joint, right behind the knee cap is a ligament called the Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL. Right behind that is another called the Posterior Cruciate Ligament or PCL. On the outside of the joint there is a ligament called the Lateral Curciate Ligament (LCL) and finally, on the inside, the Medial Curiate Ligament or MCL. OK, got that: ACL, PCL, LCL, and MCL. Believe me, ask anyone who has ever had one of these injured and they can give you these names without thinking.

The most common football knee injury is a torn ACL. This happens when force is applied on the shin making the knee joint bend backwards. Long rest of the knee or surgery will be needed to repair the damage. Long rest usually means a full leg brace to keep the knee from bending for several weeks.

The next most common injury is a MCL injury. This comes when the lineman gets what is called a chop block. The blocker goes for the legs trying to knock the lineman down. Very often the block comes on the outside of the knee. If it is of sufficient force, the knee will bend to the side causing the MCL to stretch, be torn, or totally separated from the bones to which it attached. Here again, lots of rest for the knee and surgery.

Less common are the LCL and PCL injuries, but both are a result of the knee being bent by force in a direction God never intended it to bend. I ask you to visit with anyone who has ever had a knee injury and you will see why the Lineman Knee Brace Campaign is so very important.

The braces we are proposing to buy will prevent the knee from bending any direction other than the way it was designed. These braces are worn by a number of high school, college, and professional teams to keep their best linemen in the game rather than on the sidelines on crutches and in full leg casts. Lexington, we need to do the same thing for our linemen.

I am asking you to help me pay for the first round of these braces. They cost $200 per leg. Can you help? If you can, please send your tax-deductable contribution to Lexington ISD, 8731 West Hwy 77 North, Lexington, TX 78947 and indicate that it is for the brace fund. Thank you for your donation.

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