ACL Tears Treatment in Glendale, CA
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears
ACL tears are growing in frequency among athletes. In the US in 2000, there were 175,000 reconstructions performed, that number is closer to 250,000-400,000 now. The average age is around 26. Female athletes are more likely to tear their ACL than males. Seventy percent of ACL tears occur during sports. And 70% of these injuries are non-contact.
- A = Anterior (Front)
- C = Cruciate (Cross)
- L = Ligament
The anterior cruciate ligament sits front and center in the knee. It is one of four main ligaments that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It is the primary restraint against the tibia sliding too far forward relative to the femur. It is also important for rotational stability. This means it stabilizes the knee when you pivot and twist, run and jump, or change directions.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of an ACL Tear?
If you injure your ACL, you may feel or hear a pop in the knee and experience immediate swelling. Immediate pain on the outside, or lateral, aspect of the knee is common.
What Other Injuries can Occur with an ACL Tear?
Meniscal tears (50-75%) are common. The menisci are the cartilage pads or “shock absorbers” in the knee. Lateral meniscal tears are more common than medial tears acutely. Medial tears occur more often in the chronic ACL-deficient knee.
Other ligaments in the knee can also be injured at the same time as the ACL. The MCL, LCL and PCL are the other main ligaments in the knee that will be evaluated for injury.
What is the Treatment for an ACL Tear?
If you sustain an ACL injury, please see an orthopedic surgeon to be evaluated and initiate treatment. The first steps in treatment are:
- Physical therapy to regain range of motion.
- Ice, anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling.
- A knee brace and crutches to prevent further injury.
Can an ACL Tear be Treated without Surgery?
Depending on your age and activity level, surgery may be required. Less than 20% of athletes who tear their ACL return to pre-injury activity without ACL reconstruction.
If the ACL is not treated surgically, there is a risk for recurrent instability of the knee which can lead to meniscus and cartilage damage.
Low demand patients who do not perform running, jumping, or pivoting activities may be able to avoid surgery for an ACL tear if they do not experience instability with normal daily activities.
Get More Information on ACL Reconstruction Surgery
Contact Glendale Orthopedics today to get help for your knee pain.