Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments of the knee. These tissues hold the bones together giving the knee stability. Sporting activities that involve rapid movement or change of direction can cause an ACL injury. They occur when there is a sudden stop when running or not landing properly after a jump. The Anterior Cruciate tissue tears, sprains or strains and may require surgery. Females are at a greater risk of getting an ACL injury due to their anatomy.
Symptoms of ACL Injuries
How do you know you have an ACL injury?
- A sudden popping sound
- A very painful knee
- The knee's motion is limited i.e., bending and flexing
- Swelling in the affected part
- Difficulty in movement which might result in a limp
Treatment for ACL Injuries
An orthopedic surgeon has to examine your knee to determine the extent of the ACL damage. He will examine the range of motion by observing how the knee moves. An X-Ray can determine if you have broken bones, and an ultrasound will further confirm if you have a soft tissue injury. This examination is necessary to determine the next course of treatment, which depends on the severity of the injury. Crutches and a knee brace can help in movement, and anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve the pain and reduce the swelling.
If the ligament is very torn, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend reconstructive surgery after the inflammation of the knee stops. This is whereby tissue is used to facilitate the growth of a new ligament.
After surgery, the injured knee needs rehab. The goal of physiotherapy is not only to facilitate recovery but also to strengthen the knee muscles. This process aims at:
- Regaining stability
- Restoring the normal range of motion
- Avoiding re-injury.
Physiotherapy Exercises For ACL
It is recommended that before surgery, the knee is moved slowly to avoid stiffness, and proper first aid like cold pressing or electrotherapy on the injured knee is done to prevent swelling. ACL physiotherapy aims to strengthen the hamstrings and quadriceps, and the following exercises can help in achieving those goals:
- Closed chain exercises - The foot is fixed to a stationary object. This exercise is considered safe because it puts less strain on the graft since there are multiple joint movements.
- Open chain exercises - These are exercises whereby an object does not restrain the body parts that are the furthest from the body (in this case, the foot).
Contact Gustavel Orthopedics for ACL Injuries
When you experience any sort of knee pain, the last thing you want to worry about is the quality of specialized care you deserve. At Gustavel Orthopedics we pride ourselves in patient care & independence in health care choice. Dr. Michael Gustavel is a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon in Boise, Idaho who has been practicing since 2002. Contact us to request an appointment and for more information about ACL injuries.