All about ACL Tear: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

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All about ACL Tear: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

acl tear treatment

The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is a mass of tissues that connects the femur (thigh-bone) and tibia (shin-bone) and serves to stabilize knee joints. A ligament is basically a flexible, tough band of muscle-like tissues that hold bones and flesh or cartilage together. ACL is remarkably strong but it’s also prone to breakage. The ACL ligament tear can occur to anyone but it is more frequent in sportsperson who participate in workouts or activities that require pivoting, jumping or sudden stops.

When these three activities are executed wrongly, they result in an intense build up pressure tearing the ACL band. ACL rupture occurs to non-athletes mainly because of twisting the knee. Either way, if you suspect you have a torn or injured ACL, pay attention to the following key ACL tear symptoms.

  • Pain around the knee
    The severity of pain mainly depends on the intensity of the damage. ACL rupture is accompanied by swelling which actually leads to the pain. However, in the event ACL rupture coincides with a torn meniscus, the pain tends to be so sharp and antagonist.
  • Reduced range of motion
    Athletes usually put on a lot of pressure on their joints during stretching, workouts or when performing. When done wrongly, ligaments are torn and ACL is one of the most affected tissues. Though a patient can walk comfortably after the ACL injury or rapture, the range of motion is generally limited as the knee is unable to provide the necessary stability. Furthermore, straining an injured knee will result in a more soar knee.
  • A loud ‘pop’
    Most people hear a ‘pop’ sound coming from the knee the same time they suffer an ACL rupture. Sometimes the rapture is so intense that bystanders can actually hear the sound too.
  • Unstable knee
    Due to weak support, the knee is rendered unstable. The effect may be so realistic that victims fear putting any weight on the knee may make it buckle.
  • Rapid swelling
    When the ACL gets torn, blood usually floods the crisscrossing ligament fibers. The unusual flow of blood results into swelling and a distorted joint. The knee feels warm when touched and may turn into red. For minor distortion, the swelling is supposed to start subsidizing after a day or two—more than that it indicates a ruptured ACL.

How are ACL tears treated?

Right after the rapture, you will be requested to rest the knee, elevate the knee joint, ice it frequently and support it with bandages. This particularly applies to partially or less damaged ACL victims. One is supposed to stay away from strenuous sports activities. Physical therapy such as chiropractic therapy may be used to restore strength and range of motion.

For athletes, a badly torn ACL tear treatment may require X-Ray scanning where surgery may be deemed necessary. The surgery is known as an arthroscopic procedure where the surgeon will reconstruct the knee and torn ligaments by aligning them as they are supposed to be. The surgery is less invasive in order to speed up healing. Patients are required to use crutches to help reduce pressure on the affected knee. Light therapy commences immediately followed by light jogging after three months. The surgery usually takes 90 minutes while complete recovery may last between 6 and 9 months.

Though it is common among athletes such as basketball players, footballers or skiers, non-athletes are also known to be victims of ACL rupture. Nonetheless, ACL treatment for sports injuries is applied to both cases.

If you suffer from an ACL tear, make sure to get a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment from an expert orthopedic consultant. Bone and Joint 360 has delivered consistent healthcare to patients from across the globe. Dr. Santosh Shetty is among the foremost, highly-skilled orthopedic surgeons, renowned for his expertise in the industry. He seamlessly blends cutting-edge technology with advanced techniques, for flawless orthopedic treatments and sports medicine that harness success at every step. With an accurate diagnosis and superior treatments, we enhance each patient’s quality of life. Book an appointment with our team for world-class treatments.

Dr. Santosh Shetty
Dr. Santosh Shetty
Specialist in Joint Replacement and Trauma Surgery with more than 15 years of experience.
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