If you’ve torn your ACL, does that mean surgery is automatically the best treatment? We answer that question and more here.
Tearing your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common ways you can injure your knee, with 100,000-200,000 people injuring their ACL each year in the United States. Your ACL is one of the bands of tissue that keep your knee stable and keep your knee bone in place.
If you do tear your ACL, you might be wondering what your treatment options are and if it will involve surgery. At Prairie Garden Medical located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Joel S. Tupper, MD, and Daniel Jones, MD, and the rest of our team want you to know what all the options are for treatment and what to expect from surgery should it come to that.
Explaining ACL tears
Your knee is a large and complex joint that is the intersection for your shinbone, thighbone, and knee cap. All of these are held together by a series of ligaments, one of them being your ACL. Your ACL runs through the center of your knee and keeps your knee from over-rotating.
ACL tears happen when you overstretch the ligament, causing it to tear partially or completely. This happens most often when you’re playing a sport where you have to move quickly in one direction and then suddenly change directions, such as football, basketball, or soccer.
When you tear your ACL, you often hear and feel a pop. Your knee then swells, feels unstable, and becomes difficult to apply pressure to. Other symptoms of ACL tears include pain when walking, decreased range of motion, and knee tenderness.
How ACL tears are diagnosed
If you’ve injured your knee and suspect an ACL tear, our team can take a look at it and determine if your ACL is actually torn.
We begin by performing a physical exam and reviewing all your symptoms. If necessary, we can request imaging tests like X-rays be done in order to get a thorough picture of the condition of your knee.
Treating ACL tears
If our team determines that you do, in fact, have a torn ACL, we will come up with a treatment plan that best suits you and your health needs. Treatment will depend mostly on the kind of lifestyle you lead.
If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, we do not recommend surgery for you. What we can do for you instead is have you go through physical therapy and wear a brace to stabilize your knee while it heals.
However, if you’re more active, we suggest going through surgery so we can repair the ligament. We use minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery in order to reduce recovery time and to limit any damage.
If you’ve recently injured your knee and suspect that you tore your ACL, come see our expert team for proper diagnosis and treatment. To schedule an appointment with our highly skilled team, you can contact us at our office or use our online booking tool today.