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 connect 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.
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.
Meniscal tears 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.
If you sustain an ACL injury, please call our office to be evaluated and begin treatment. The first steps in treatment are:
- Ice, anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling.
- A knee brace and crutches to prevent further injury.
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.