An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury is a common condition that can significantly impact an individual’s mobility and overall quality of life. This injury involves the ACL, one of the four primary ligaments in the knee that plays a crucial role in stabilizing the joint and facilitating smooth, controlled movements.
At Alliance Orthopedics, we understand the complexities of ACL injuries and are committed to providing comprehensive care to help patients regain their strength, stability, and confidence in their movements.
Causes of ACL Injuries
ACL injuries are typically the result of activities that place a high degree of stress on the knee joint. These activities often involve sudden changes in direction or speed, such as those seen in sports like soccer, basketball, and football.
Injuries can also occur due to incorrect landing from a jump or a direct collision or impact, such as a football tackle. Each of these situations can place an unusual strain on the ACL, leading to potential injury.
Certain factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of experiencing an ACL injury. For instance, participation in high-impact sports such as football, basketball, soccer, and skiing can heighten the risk due to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of these activities.
Additionally, individuals who have previously suffered an ACL injury are at a higher risk of experiencing another, underscoring the importance of proper rehabilitation and preventative measures.
Symptoms of an ACL Injury
The symptoms of an ACL injury can be quite distinct and often include:
- A loud “pop” sound or sensation in the knee
- Severe pain and inability to continue the activity
- Rapid swelling in the knee
- Loss of range of motion
- Feeling of instability or “giving way” when bearing weight on the leg
Diagnosing an ACL Injury
Diagnosing an ACL injury involves a comprehensive approach. At Alliance Orthopedics, our team begins by understanding your symptoms and the circumstances leading to the injury, along with your overall health history. This is followed by a physical examination, where our specialists assess your knee for signs of swelling, pain, and limited mobility.
To confirm the diagnosis and visualize the extent of the ligament injury, we may also recommend imaging tests. These can include X-rays to rule out bone fractures and an MRI scan to provide a detailed view of the knee’s structures.
The treatment for an ACL injury is highly personalized, taking into account each patient’s specific needs and lifestyle demands. For some, conservative management involving physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises may be sufficient. However, in cases of more severe injuries, surgical intervention may be necessary. Regardless of the treatment path chosen, the primary goal is to restore the knee’s function and prevent long-term complications such as knee instability and arthritis.
At Alliance Orthopedics, our commitment is to provide world-class care for your ACL injury, helping you return to your active lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible.