A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can cause serious pain and dysfunction in your knee. ACL injuries often occur during sports play but may also occur during car accidents or because of a misstep during daily activity. At Sports Medicine Oregon in Tigard and Wilsonville, Oregon, the experienced orthopedic team evaluates your ACL injury and offers rehabilitation and can determine if full ACL reconstruction is needed. Call today if you suspect you have an ACL injury or use the online tool to book.
There are four ligaments that connect the bones in your knee together. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) attaches the back of your thigh bone to the front of your shin bone. The ACL is important in providing stability when you twist the knee joint and in preventing hyperextension.
It’s possible to damage the other ligaments in your knee joint, like the medial collateral ligament (MCL). The team at Sports Medicine Oregon can help in these cases, too.
ACL injuries are common sports injuries. The most affected athletes are those who play contact sports, but it can occur during any activity that involves planting your foot and twisting your body.
It is common to hear a pop in the knee at the time of injury.
Women are four to five times more likely to experience an ACL tear compared to men.
Nonsurgical treatment options such as braces, lifestyle adjustments, and physical therapy are enough for many less active or older individuals following an ACL injury. However, active individuals who want to use their knee to its fullest capacity may require ACL reconstruction.
During ACL reconstruction, the surgeon uses a portion of the individual’s hamstring tendon to replace the torn or damaged ACL. The doctors at Sports Medicine Oregon usually perform the surgery with minimally invasive methods. That means smaller incisions, reduced swelling, and shorter recovery times.
An ACL injury causes pain and discomfort while walking as well as the loss of the knee's full range of motion. Tenderness along the joint or a feeling of instability are other common symptoms.
You’ll notice significant swelling of the knee, too. That is especially true in the 24 hours following the injury.
You are usually able to return home an hour or two after surgery. You’ll be given thorough aftercare instructions that include keeping the knee elevated and applying ice packs to minimize any swelling and knee pain.
In the initial days after surgery, you may need crutches. But, within a few days, you may walk around gently without assistance.
You can likely return to work the week after surgery — sooner if you have a sedentary job.
You’ll also undergo physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and to increase flexibility so you can return to more strenuous activity and sports. Usually, full recovery takes between four and eight weeks.
To learn more about ACL reconstruction, call Sports Medicine Oregon today or use the online tool to schedule a consultation.