Injury to your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common knee injuries orthopedists treat. Whether you’ve experienced ACL discomfort for an extended time or recently suffered from knee trauma, the team at Texas Orthopaedic Associates can treat you. The practice has state-of-the-art locations in Dallas, Plano, Weatherford, Keller, and Fort Worth, Texas, so you likely have a location nearby. Book your ACL evaluation by clicking on the online scheduling feature or by calling your closest office directly.
ACL INJURY Q&A
What is the ACL?
Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four primary ligaments in your knee joint. It’s responsible for connecting your femur (thigh bone) to your tibia (shin bone). Your ACL runs right down the middle of your knee and keeps your tibia from coming out of place.
This important ligament also allows you to rotate your knee while providing stability. As durable as your ACL may be, one swift move in the wrong direction and you can easily injure it.
How do ACL injuries happen?
You can tear or rupture your ACL for a variety of reasons. For instance, if you don’t properly warm up before exercise and then go for a run, especially on an uneven surface, you risk stressing your ACL. These injuries also occur by:
- Pivoting incorrectly
- Stopping suddenly
- Slipping and falling
- Landing awkwardly when jumping
Plus, female athletes have a higher chance of suffering from an ACL injury, possibly due to increased ligament laxity, natural lower leg alignment, or differences in muscular strength and conditioning.
When should I see a doctor for an ACL injury?
Because an ACL injury is likely going to worsen without proper treatment, you need to have your knee evaluated at Texas Orthopaedic Associates, as soon as an injury occurs. The team especially wants to see you if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of range of motion
- Swelling or tenderness
- Popping or grinding noises or sensations
- Pain while bearing weight on the knee
An ACL tear or rupture can leave your knee incredibly unstable. You might feel like your knee is going to give way, causing you to lose balance. Before your ACL injury symptoms worsen, see how the caring orthopedists at Texas Orthopaedic Associates, can help.
What is the treatment for ACL injuries?
A torn ACL commonly requires surgery. But before going the surgical route, your knee surgeon may suggest bracing and physical therapy to improve your symptoms, especially if you’re older, have a minor tear, or have a low activity level.
If you do need surgery for an ACL tear, though, your dedicated orthopaedic surgeon at Texas Orthopaedic Associates, can usually make all repairs using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. ACL surgery involves grafting tissue from a tendon in your body, such as from your hamstring or quadriceps.
This new tissue graft acts as scaffolding, and this encourages new ligament tissue to grow and rebuild on it. Over time and with several months of physical therapy, your ACL begins to heal and strengthen. Full recovery from ACL surgery can take at least 4-6 months, possibly longer if you’re conditioning to return to sporting activities.
Schedule your ACL exam at Texas Orthopaedic Associates, today. Request your appointment online or over the phone.