ACL injury is when the anterior cruciate ligaments in the knee sprain or tear. This is one of the most common ways people hurt their knees. Athletes who compete in sports where sudden changes in motion and jumping occur are the most susceptible to an ACL tear. These sports include downhill skiing and snowboarding, football, basketball and soccer.
What is an ACL tear?
There are four primary ligaments in the knee that hold the bones in place. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) runs diagonally in the middle of the knee. It connects the femur to the tibia and provides rotational stability. When the ligament becomes overstretched, it results in a loosening sprain or complete tear.
What are ACL tear causes?
ACL injury can occur after any activity that puts stress on the knee. Common causes of ACL tears include sudden stopping or change in motion and pivoting, landing awkwardly after a jump or a direct impact to the knee. The end result is damage to the ligament in the form of a strain or complete tear.
What are ACL tear symptoms?
When an ACL tear or sprain occurs, many people feel a “pop” in their knee, but not always. More common symptoms include pain, swelling and feeling unstable with weight on the knee where the ACL injury occurred. Other symptoms of an ACL tear include general loss of range of motion.
What is ACL injury treatment?
The treatment for an ACL injury will vary based on the severity. Your doctor may first perform tests to measure your range of motion. Next, they may order MRIs or ultrasounds to view soft tissues in the area. Ordering x-rays can also rule out any broken bones. If the injury is severe, it may require surgery. An orthopedic surgeon may then order an arthroscopy to get an inside look at the damage and assess what type of repair will occur.
If your injury is minor, you are in luck! With the help of sports medicine and a good sports injury treatment plan you can recover without the need for surgery. Your sports medicine doctor can help rehabilitate your ligament back to perfect function. Your doctor may direct you to use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and take over the counter pain medication when needed.
If you are suffering from an ACL tear or any other injury that is affecting your physical performance, we can help get on the road to recovery, fast. Dr. Bob Meyer at Spinal Rehab Sports Medicine has been helping patients for over 25 years to recover from sports injuries. Don’t suffer any longer and get back to what you love doing most!