Even an ACL Injury Didn’t Stop Dipa Karmakar From Winning a Gold

After recovering from an ACL injury, Dipa Karmakar became the 1st Indian gymnast to clinch a gold at a global event.

Published
Fit
3 min read
Dipa Karmakar created history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch a gold at a global event.
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Returning to action after a lay-off of nearly two years due to an injury, Dipa Karmakar on Sunday, 8 July, created history by becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch a gold at a global event.

She emerged triumphant at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.

The 24-year-old from Tripura has come a long distance since the 2016 Rio Olympics where she finished fourth. Soon after the event, she suffered an Anetrior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in her knee. She was initially confident of making a comeback at the Commonwealth Games, but rehabilitation took more time than expected and she missed another important event.

Here’s a closer look at what ACL is and how it can jeopardise careers.

What is ACL?

ACL is that ligament which joins the shin and thigh bone together in the knee and keeps them stable. Orthopedic surgeon Dr Ramneek Mahajan points out that it’s the ACL which ensures we don’t fall while walking, running or going up or down the stairs. Any injury to this ligament is called an ACL injury.

Activities like basketball, football, rugby, tennis and skying leave the knees vulnerable to ACL injury.
Activities like basketball, football, rugby, tennis and skying leave the knees vulnerable to ACL injury.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

An ACL injury is common when it comes to the knees. Activities like basketball, football, rugby, tennis and skying which involve swift movements like running and jumping, all leave the knees vulnerable to it. Additionally, ageing too increases the chances of an ACL injury.

In layman’s terms it’s simply called a ligament tear. Anybody can be injured in this manner, especially if they have an active lifestyle which includes running or going to the gym. Even daily activities can cause an ACL tear. In the case of this injury, even slight movement would make the person realise how unstable their movement has become. They might stumble and find it difficult to walk.
Dr Ramneek Mahajan

Symptoms of an ACL Injury

  • Swelling in the knees
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Unstable knee movement
  • Walking, sitting and standing becomes painful
  • Stumbling and unstability during movement is common

Ligament tears of this nature are often termed sprains or muscle pulls. Depending on their severity, they are graded into three categories.

  • Grade 1: When there is a slight injury in the ligament, but the knee joint is not much affected.
  • Grade 2: When the ligament has been pulled.
  • Grade 3: The ligament is entirely torn and the joint is completely shaken.

Most ligament injuries are of grade 2 or 3 and knee surgeons call them complete or incomplete tears says Dr Mahajan.

Athletes, in most cases, have to undergo surgery to get it fixed so that it doesn’t affect their performance.
Athletes, in most cases, have to undergo surgery to get it fixed so that it doesn’t affect their performance.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

In some cases, if the injury is of a severe level, surgery might be required to fix it. However, it all depends on the level of the injury and the activity levels of the individual. Athletes, in most cases, have to undergo surgery to get it fixed so that it doesn’t affect their performance.

A knee injury should get immediate medical assistance. The first round of treatment would mostly involve understanding the nature of the pain, comparing the injured knee with the uninjured one and an X-ray or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan.

Treatment

While physiotherapy is a good way to treat an ACL injury. People whose lifestyles aren’t very active can treat their ACL injuries with simple exercises, affirm doctors. There are also knee braces which are helpful.

If the injury is not closely followed and treated, other than harming the knee and causing discomfort to the patient, it might also increase the chances of arthritis.

Thus, it’s important to take adequate steps to fix it. If these measures do not relieve the discomfort and the patient leads an active lifestyle then corrective surgery might be needed. If the injury is too serious, reconstruction of the ACL might be required. The human body has some tendons which might be used for this purpose.

(This story was originally published on FitHindi. It has been translated to English by Rosheena Zehra.)

(For more fitness related stories, follow Fit.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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