Around 200,000 ACL injuries occur every year in the United States, and nearly half of them are complete tears that won’t heal well without surgery. At MidJersey Orthopaedics our team of Orthopaedic Surgeons have years of experience providing customized treatment to patients with ACL tears, helping each person regain optimal strength and return to the activities they love. If you develop sudden, severe knee pain, call the office in Flemington or Bridgewater, New Jersey, or book an appointment online.
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, runs diagonally through the center of your knee, connecting the femur, or thigh bone, with the tibia, or shin bone. The ACL is one of four ligaments that work together to stabilize your knee joint. The ACL, in particular, is essential to allow you to perform twisting or pivoting activities. When you try to twist without the ACL functioning properly, the tibia tends to shift forward relative to the femur, and this increased shear in the knee can increase the stress on the other ligaments and the cartilage. Thus, having a torn ACL can lead to damaging other structures in the knee.
During sports or other activities, the ACL injury can occur by:
ACL injuries are most common in high-demand sports such as soccer, basketball, skiing, and football.
Symptoms of an ACL injury can vary from person-to-person depending on whether other structures were injured as well, but common symptoms include:
The physician at MidJersey Orthopaedics will perform the following to make a diagnosis:
Initial treatment will be focused on reducing pain and stiffness, and returning you to everyday functional activities. The specific treatment to achieve this might include:
Definitive treatment for your ACL tear depends on the degree of instability of your knee, and what your future activities will be. If the knee is not unstable with activities of daily living, and you are not planning to do strenuous twisting activities, your long-term treatment may simply be an exercise problem and perhaps a brace at times.
If you are having instability with routine activities, or you are planning to return to things that involve twisting, then surgery is probably going to be best for you. The surgeons at MidJersey Orthopaedics offer the full array of surgical options of ACL reconstruction and will help you choose what is best for you. This includes autograft and allograft options.
The surgery is done as an out-patient, and you will be full weight-bearing immediately. We like you to start Physical Therapy within a week of the surgery, so we will help you set this up ahead of time. Most patients can start to jog by six weeks, and start to do twisting activities by three months. Full recovery and return to full activities typically takes 6-12 months.
If you think you may have an ACL tear, please make an appointment at MidJersey Orthopaedics today by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool. Allow us to help you to Live Life Better.