The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, termed ACL for short, is a major ligament within the knee. Located behind the kneecap, this ligament is responsible for the free movement of the knee joint. Most often, athletes are more susceptible to these ACL tears. ACL injuries are usually not caused by collisions or physical contact. In the majority of cases, it can result from sudden knee movements, such as jumping the wrong way or from quick changes in direction. Knee pain is not the only symptom. There are many other torn ACL symptoms that force someone to stop what they are doing and take any weight off of the knee.
In addition to having intense pain, patients often hear a loud popping sound when the tear occurs. The swelling and pain are instantaneous, and they feel that the knee is giving way. A torn ligament can be identified by a range of tests. After the doctor confirms that they are torn ACL symptoms, the patient is left with 2 options: Having ACL reconstructive surgery or using more conservative treatment methods. Let’s take a closer look at the surgical option.
ACL Reconstructive Surgery
An arthroscope is injected through a small incision, which is equipped with a camera. This helps the surgeon to get a closer, inside view of the knee. Thus, the surgeon is able to fully examine the joint & ligaments. Your torn ACL symptoms will also help the doctor to determine the best treatment option for you. Because of its limited blood supply & other technical factors, the torn ACL ends are not usually sewn together, rather, a graft is used to replace the ACL. Often an autograft, tissue taken from the patient’s own body, is a piece of hamstring or patellar tendon that is used to reconstruct the ACL. This surgery is minimally invasive and helps to stabilize the knee. No further meniscal injuries are possible after arthroscopic surgery. There is very little scarring, and it’s possible to fully recover within a short period of time. This surgery for torn ACL injuries is a good option for those who are younger & lead an active lifestyle. You’ll need to avoid certain medications 2 weeks before the surgery. Inform your doctor about the medication you take, and any other medical conditions you currently have. You can return home the same day, and physical therapy should begin after the surgery. Wearing a knee brace can help to stabilize the knee, and prevent any further injury. This is recommended to use before going in for surgery.
Recovery and physical therapy
Getting enough rest is essential to help the knee heal properly. However, these ligaments do not have a generous blood supply to speed up the healing process. Therefore, being patient is essential. Physiotherapy is one of the best methods to provide rehabilitation from surgery, restore range of motion, and regain strength in the knee. Exercises and stretches will be recommended by your physiotherapists, and you can wear the knee brace for additional protection after your physiotherapy sessions have been completed.