The ACL is one of the four main ligaments in the knee. It provides stability when the knee is turning, and injuries during sports can cause it to tear. If you've torn your ACL, you're in good company. Each year around 200,000 ACL tears happen in the United States, and about half of those are severe enough to require surgery. If you suspect you've torn your ACL, you'll want to get prompt medical attention. The Metairie, Louisiana orthopedic surgeons at Crescent City Orthopedics can help you recover from your injury and get back into the game.
Most of the time an ACL tear occurs when you twist your knee. That can happen when sidestepping, pivoting, or turning while slowing down.
While anyone can experience an ACL tear, this particular injury most commonly happens in sports. Fortunately, ACL tears rarely occur as a contact injury.
Most of the patients who come to Crescent City Orthopedics with a torn ACL report feeling a popping sensation followed by immediate pain. Torn ACLs cause enough pain that most patients report difficulty walking. Additional symptoms include swelling and knee stiffness.
Not all knee pain or swelling means you have torn your ACL. However, if the ACL is torn, you need immediate attention to reduce the risk of further injury.
The Crescent City Orthopedics team recommends a visit if you have knee pain that makes it difficult to walk and doesn't improve after a few days of rest and ice.
If you come to Crescent City Orthopedics with knee pain, your appointment will begin with a thorough physical exam of your knee. Sometimes, range of motion and stability problems indicate that you have a torn ACL.
If your doctor doesn't find a definitive problem, they'll order an X-ray to rule out any fracture. However, an MRI is the best diagnostic tool to pinpoint a suspected ACL tear, as well as damage to other soft tissues in the knee.
A torn ACL won't heal on its own. However, this doesn't mean that you need surgery. Sometimes, strengthening the surrounding muscles can compensate for a small tear, allowing you to return to your normal activities. Some patients will require surgery to return to full activities.
With the help of the skilled team at Crescent City Orthopedics, a torn ACL doesn't have to sideline you for long.
When you visit Crescent City Orthopedics for a torn ACL, your doctor will help you weigh your options. Whether surgery is the right course of action or therapy to strengthen the other muscles is best for you, the ultimate goal will be to get you back on the court or field in full strength after your injury.