Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Tore My ACL: A 5 – Minute Primer On What You Need To Know

What is an ACL?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a knee ligament that connects the lower leg bone with the upper leg bone.  It is the primary stabilizer of the knee.

What are the symptoms of a torn ACL?
Injuries can be mild or severe – it could be a slight tear or the ligament could be torn entirely. 
·      Feeling/hearing a “pop” in the knee
·      Pain on the outside and back of the knee
·      Knee swelling
·      Limited movement
·      Feeling of knee instability, buckling, or “giving out”

With a torn ACL, it is difficult to control the movements of the knee.

How is a torn ACL treated?
Initial treatment of the ACL is nonoperative to allow the swelling to come down and to obtain increased range of motion.  Sometimes, a physician will take the fluid out of your knee to facilitate the ability to obtain the appropriate range of motion for the knee.  Your physician may also recommend a rehab program to strengthen your quads and hamstring muscles, depending on the nature of your injury.

Do I need surgery?
If there are concomitant  injuries, you're not a candidate for nonsurgical treatment or if you have continued instability of the knee, your orthopedist would more than likely stress the surgical repair of this torn ligament by replacing it with a allograft or autograft. Several graft sources, either from your own knee or a cadaver. The reason for this is to prevent further injury to the knee.

The autograft requires an additional incision. Cadaver grafts have the unique risk of disease transmission, which is less than one in one million. For a more detailed description on this complicated subject, please visit the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery.

A Word From Our Doctor
I have practiced sports medicine for 18 years, with six years of practice in a military setting.  In this setting, the repair of the ACL was a very common and frequent operation.  These repairs were done in patients to return them back to active service in an extremely demanding occupation. Since this time, my focus has been on the industrial athlete, the weekend athlete as well as the high school/collegiate athlete. Please feel free to contact me at Advanced Bone & Joint and ask for Dr. Paul M. Spezia.

There is a fine line between blogging and giving medical advice. The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.  Nothing contained in this blog is intended to replace the medical advice of a trained, licensed physician.
In all matters relating to your health, you are urged to consult a physician. You can contact Advanced Bone & Joint to set up a formal consultation appointment with Dr. W. Anthony Frisella, Dr. Dane Glueck, Dr. Brandon Larkin, Dr. Anthony Lombardo, Dr. John McAllister, II, Dr. Brian Meek, Dr. Paul Spezia, Jennifer Eickhoff, FNP-BC, or Matt Pliske, PA-C

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