Injuring your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) means a reduction in knee mobility and stability. Sports orthopedic specialist, Derek Farr, DO, at Twin Palm Orthopedics in Ocala, Florida, will determine the severity of the ACL tear and decide on a surgical or nonsurgical treatment plan. To start a treatment and rehabilitation program for an ACL tear, schedule an appointment by phone or request one online at Twin Palm Orthopedics today.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a strong band of tissue that helps control your knee’s backward and forward motion. It runs diagonally inside your knee and holds the joint stable. When this ligament tears, the injury is called an ACL tear.
ACL tears are common among athletes. You can tear the ligament by stopping or changing direction abruptly or because of direct impact to the knee. At Twin Palm Orthopedics, the team evaluates the injury to grade it on a scale:
Most ACL tears are complete tears of the ligament rather than partial tears. In these cases, the ligament is in two separate pieces.
An ACL tear causes severe, quick-onset pain initially, with other symptoms that come a little later. At the time of the incident, you typically hear or feel a pop as your knee buckles under you.
Other possible symptoms from an ACL tear are:
During your visit, the team at Twin Palm Orthopedics will examine your knee and compare it to your uninjured knee. They will ask how the injury happened and which symptoms you’ve experienced since it occurred.
In some cases, a diagnosis requires imaging tests like X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. These images show the extent of your injury and will help the team plan your treatment.
Your treatment plan for an ACL tear may or may not involve surgery. If you’re an athlete, you’ll need surgery to safely return to your sport. However, nonsurgical treatments are available if your knee still has some stability or if you have a low-activity lifestyle.
For nonsurgical options, Twin Palm Orthopedics offers protective bracing to stabilize the knee and physical therapy to rehabilitate the injury. Neither of these options will repair the ligament, but they can help restore some of your knee’s strength, function, and mobility.
During surgery, the team at Twin Palm Orthopedics can repair a torn ACL.
A minimally invasive option for ACL repair with a low recovery time is called arthroscopic surgery. The team uses a small fiber optic camera called an arthroscope to enter your knee through a small incision. Then, through other small incisions, they reconstruct the ligament and can repair other damage to the meniscus if needed.
After surgery, you’ll need to take part in a rehabilitation program that includes physical therapy. Twin Palm Orthopedics offers physical therapy services in their state-of-the-art on-site facility.
If you injure your knee and think it might be an ACL tear, schedule an appointment by phone or request one online at Twin Palm Orthopedics today.