ACL Injury: What's Next?

Your body needs to run like a finely tuned machine, with all parts in working order to function well in life and sports. Your joints are especially important because they are the parts of your body that allow you to move. Your joints are supported by strong bands of tissue called tendons and ligaments, and your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments in your knee. 

At Crescent Orthopedics, we understand that an ACL injury can be scary and that you want to get up and get moving again as quickly as possible. Our highly experienced and respected team of sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons provide you with the treatment you need to heal and regain your strength to get back on the field and back to your life.

What is your ACL?

Your knee is the joint where your shinbone meets your thigh bone, also known as your femur. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones at the joint, and ligaments connect your bones. There is a cushion of cartilage in between the bones to prevent them from rubbing against each other. 

Your anterior cruciate ligament is one of four ligaments in your knee. Along with the other ligaments, it holds your bones together at the joint. The ACL runs across your knee in the middle, preventing your shinbone from moving in front of your thigh bone, and it stabilizes your knee when you engage in twisting motions.

What is an ACL injury?

An ACL injury most commonly happens during sports. If you plant your foot in one place while twisting your knee, it’s possible to injure your ACL. This can occur when you are pivoting on one foot, stepping to the side, or making a sudden turn at the same time as you are slowing down.

The symptoms of an ACL injury typically include:

Though an ACL injury is serious, there are many treatment options that support you healing and regaining your strength.

What’s next?

If the pain in your knee prevents you from walking, and your symptoms don’t improve after a few days of rest and applying ice to your knee, then it’s essential to get it examined. Our doctors physically examine your knee and may order diagnostic tests such as x-rays or MRI before diagnosing your injury.

Depending on the location and severity of your ACL tear, your doctor recommends the best treatment options to help you heal quickly and develops a plan for you to get your strength back. You may need to use a brace and crutches to stabilize your injury as you are healing and rehabilitating your knee.

Some of the more conservative treatment options include rest, ice, elevation, compression, and physical therapy. If your knee is not able to heal on its own with these supportive treatments, you may need to have surgery to be able to regain full functioning of your knee. 

Your knees take a lot of pressure, and your ACL is a crucial ligament for stabilizing your knee. An ACL injury is serious, but with proper treatment and rehabilitation, you will be able to make a full return to the activities you enjoy.

To learn more about treatments for ACL injuries or other sports medicine or orthopedic concerns, set up an appointment with one of our doctors by calling our office today.

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