So what exactly is an ACL? An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a major stabilizer in the knee that connects your femur, or thigh-bone to your tibia, or shin-bone. ACL tears most commonly occur during sports that require sudden changes in direction or speed. During your initial diagnosis, your doctor will order an X-ray and MRI to determine the severity of your injury.
- A “pop” or “popping” sensation/sound
- Unbearable pain
- Instability or your knee “gives way”
- Lack of motion
- Rest: Take the weight off your knee as much as possible
- Ice: Every two hours for 20 minutes
- Elevate: Prop up your leg on a pillow when resting
- Bracing: to stabilize your knee
For many patients whether they pursue surgery or not physical therapy is required to strengthen and restore range of motion to the knee. This typically requires several weeks of targeted stretches, range of motion exercises and strength building techniques and may include a knee brace or crutches.
When surgery is required our surgeons perform advanced arthroscopic techniques to reconstruct the ACL. This restores normal stability and function to the knee, allowing patients a full recovery and return to their sports and activities.
This is a slow process that requires continued physical therapy, ice, and rest. Physical therapy will help expand your range of flexibility and strengthen the supporting muscles in the knee. Ice in correlation with anti-inflammatories will help keep the swelling down.