ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT TEAR (ACL TEAR)
The anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament in the knee that helps with stability. It is located in the center of the knee and connects the tibia or shin bone to the femur or thigh bone. Tears to the ACL require immediate treatment due to the fact that they cannot heal on their own. If a person has an ACL tear they may feel some instability in the knee which will make it very difficult and painful to walk.
There are many things that can contribute to an ACL tear. Some of these include:
- Landing incorrectly when jumping
- Hard hit to the side of the knee
- Abruptly stopping when running
- Changing direction suddenly
- Trauma from an accident
- Fracture to tibia
There are signs and symptoms that can indicate an ACL injury. Some of these signs and symptoms include:
- Knee suddenly buckling or unstable
- Popping sound in the knee
- Knee warm to the touch
When a person experiences these symptoms it’s important to contact David Orthopedics immediately. As mentioned above ACL tears will not heal on their own and require immediate treatment. When a patient comes into our Prescott Valley, Arizona office with a possible ACL tear a thorough exam will be performed along with x-rays and possible MRI. All of these will be used to properly diagnose the condition. Dr. Mark B. Davis may also perform different tests on the knee to check the condition of the ACL.
If a person has experienced an ACL tear, it is important to know that these injuries are common and have a high recovery rate. One important contributor to a faster recovery is seeking professional help immediately. Waiting and trying to function on an injured ACL will only cause more damage. Early treatment is key to recovery.
If an ACL injury is caused by a fracture occurring to the tibia or shin bone Dr. Mark Davis D.O. may take a different approach to treatment. Instead of surgery Dr. Davis will focus on the stability of the fracture. When trauma occurs to the tibia spine (a specialized ridge of bone in the tibia) the ACL is also affected because it attaches there. Trauma to the tibia spine causes stress on the ACL.
If the condition is severe, surgery will be required. The goal of the surgery is to restore stability to the knee. After the surgery a patient will be expected to have physical therapy. Physical therapy is needed to help strengthen the leg as well as restore normal knee movement.
In nonsurgical treatment, physical therapy can help in the treatment. Immobilization of the leg in a brace or cast is important. Rest and anti-inflammatory medication can be used to treat the area. If a person has experienced an ACL injury contacting Davis Orthopedics is the first step to getting back to everyday activities. Call our Prescott Valley, Arizona office today for a consultation.