The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the four primary ligaments that make the knee joints stable. However, it is also the most commonly injured knee ligament. ACL injuries are more common among athletes who play sports that cause undue stress on the ACL such as soccer, basketball, tennis, football, gymnastics, and volleyball.
Minor ACL injuries can be treated with proper rest and rehabilitation. However, more severe cases may need surgery. Your ACL doctor in Orem will advise you if you need to undergo surgery.
Causes And Symptoms
ACL injuries commonly occur during activities that put too much stress and pressure on the knee. Incorrect landing after a jump, stopping abruptly, suddenly slowing down and changing directions, direct collision on the knee, and pivoting while your foot is firmly planted on the ground are just some of the examples of activities that can cause an ACL injury.
When the ACL tears, there is usually a loud popping in the knee which can either be heard or felt followed by excruciating pain. After some time, the knee will start to swell. Individuals with an ACL injury may also feel their knee buckling or giving out.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Your doctor will first perform a physical exam to check for swelling and tenderness on the knee, as well as assess the function of your joint and your range of motion. The physical exam is usually enough to diagnose an ACL injury, but you may need to undergo other tests, such as X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound tests, to check for the severity of your case.
Treatment usually starts with rehabilitation therapy. If the injury is minor enough or you lead a more inactive lifestyle and do not engage in sports that put too much pressure on the knee, this may be enough to heal your injury. However, surgery may be recommended if you are young and active or an athlete who wants to continue playing your sport. More severe cases will also need surgery even if you are not an athlete.
Like any other surgery, ACL surgery does not come without risks and possible complications. Before going through with the procedure, ask your doctor for all the potential risks. After the surgery, carefully follow all of your doctor’s orders to help with your recovery.