You heard that dreaded pop in your knee. Now, instead of making plays and training extra hours, your thoughts turn toward surgeries and time lost on the bench.
That’s where our experts at Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group come in.
Not only is our team trained in a wide range of orthopaedic and sports medicine treatments, but we also know what it’s like to be an athlete, so we do all we can to get you back in the game quickly and safely. Here, we walk through the basics of ACL injuries and take a closer look at your treatment options.
What is the ACL?
ACL is short for the anterior cruciate ligament, one of four important ligaments in your knee. The ACL runs diagonally through the middle of your knee and connects your thigh bone (femur) to your shin bone (tibia). Without it, your shin bone would slide out in front of your femur and destabilize your knee.
Stability is crucial to your knee because it bears much of your body weight. The force of your body weight increases anytime you walk, run, jump, or make cutting movements, which is especially important if you’re an athlete.
What happens when I injure my ACL?
When you injure your ACL, you may hear or feel a loud popping sound. It can also be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- A severe onset of pain
- Inability to continue activity
- Immediate, rapid swelling
- Loss of range of motion
- Instability or feeling like your knee is “giving out,” particularly when bearing weight
Though athletes are most at risk for ACL injuries, virtually anyone can injure their ACL. You may be at an increased risk if you are female, have poor biomechanics or jump mechanics, wear ill-fitting footwear, or use poorly maintained equipment. Playing on artificial turf surfaces also may increase your chances of an ACL injury.
What are my treatment options?
You may hear about professional athletes undergoing surgery to treat their ACL injuries, but at Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group, that isn’t our knee-jerk response. Here, the severity of your injury as well as your activity level drives your treatment plan.
Some ACL injuries involve the ligament being stretched or partially torn, but your knee maintains overall good stability. More severe injuries are those with partial tears that affect the stability of the ACL and full-thickness tears of the ACL. These typically result in the loss of stability in your knee where it will feel “loose” or can feel like it is “giving out” on your.
For lower-grade ACL injuries where your knee maintains stability, non-surgical treatments such as bracing, rest, and physical therapy may be adequate for rehabilitating your injury.
In the case of higher-grade ACL tears that affect your knee’s stability, we may recommend surgery to repair or reconstruct your ACL and get you back to pre-injury activity levels.
Fortunately, we specialize in the most advanced arthroscopic techniques. That means we can complete your ACL repair or reconstruction surgery quickly with a smaller incision and less structural damage than other procedures. Sometimes, we need to graft strong, healthy tissues from another part of your body to repair your torn ACL effectively.
An ACL tear doesn’t have to mean going under the knife or hanging up your cleats, and our specialists will help you decide the best course of action and treatment options for you. If you’re worried about a potential ACL injury or if you’d simply like more information about our sports medicine therapies, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or call us. We’re conveniently located in Carmel, Newburgh, Mt. Kisco, and Fishkill, New York, as well as Danbury, Connecticut.