ACL Tear Surgery & Recovery
At KSF Orthopaedic Center, we have a full staff of orthopedic physicians and surgeons in Houston trained and experienced in treating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. ACL sprains and tears are one of the most common knee injuries, especially among athletes. Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to have ACL injuries that require proper surgery and recovery.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a robust and rope-like ligament in the middle of the knee joint that controls the femur and tibia rotation. ACL tears occur from a twisting injury to the knee. Typically, a pop is felt or heard, and the knee becomes immediately swollen and painful.
Causes & Symptoms
Injury can occur to the anterior cruciate ligament in several different ways. Rapidly changing direction, stopping suddenly, slowing down while running, landing awkwardly from a jump, or in a direct collision (common occurrences during sport and exercise) are all possible causes.
The first symptom to look out for when the anterior cruciate ligament is injured will be a popping sound and the feeling of your knee giving out from underneath you.
Further symptoms include; pain with swelling on the knee region that usually occurs within 24 hours of the incident occurring, losing your full range of motion, with general discomfort while walking. If an ACL injury is suspected, sports medicine specialists do not recommend you attempt returning to sports. This activity can put your knee at further risk of damage.
ACL Tear Treatment Options
Treatment for ACL tears depends on the patient’s age and activity level. Surgeons will recommend ACL reconstructive surgery for active patients who want to continue activities that involve knee twisting and pivoting. ACL surgery involves arthroscopically transferring a portion of a tendon from the front of the knee to reconstruct the ACL. Alternatively, a donor tendon, or allograft, may be used. Doctors may recommend non-operative treatments in patients who have a more sedentary lifestyle. Learn more about anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries here.
The Surgical Process
Surgical repairs are necessary for the majority of ACL tears to restore stability to the knee region. This procedure involves reconstructing the torn ligament with a tissue graft that supports the ligament. Our team evaluates the type of graft used in the process to ensure the most suitable choice for you. During the procedure, small incisions are made at the anterior cruciate ligament to rebuild it. Using smaller incisions can help patients recover more quickly, experience less pain after surgery, and spend less overall time in the hospital.
Post-treatment physical rehabilitation is necessary to help you recover, regain mobility in your knee, and strengthen the ligament to ensure a successful return to regular activities. To address knee pain and expedite your return to activity, call KSF Orthopaedic Center today. Serving the Houston area with an award-winning staff of physicians specializing in knee surgery, including ACL tear treatment, we can diagnose your knee condition and recommend the best treatment course. Call today to schedule your appointment!
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injuries
If you’re an athlete, you’ve probably heard of an MCL injury. Your medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a band of tissue running along the inner edge of your knee. It connects your shin and thigh bones so that your knee is stable when you move. So, if you take a hard hit to the side of your knee or your knee is twisted out too far, this can result in an MCL injury with it stretched, strained, or torn. Sometimes a popping sound will occur when the damage takes place.
Symptoms of an MCL Injury
Symptoms of an MCL injury include swelling, pain, and tenderness along the inside edge of your knee. Your knee will also tend to lurch to the side when you move, or your knee may feel loose and wobble. It may be difficult to walk or put pressure on your injured knee.
MCL Injury Treatments
KSF Orthopaedic Center has a team of physicians and surgeons in orthopedics who can properly diagnose and treat MCL injuries. An MRI can show how badly damaged your MCL is so that we can determine what type of treatment would be most effective to treat it. Depending upon the severity of the MCL damage, you may require physical therapy or even orthopedic surgery. However, this type of ligament injury can often heal itself within a few weeks or months.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries
A PCL injury is similar to an ACL injury. Your posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) connects your thigh bone (femur) to your shin bone (tibia). Although larger and stronger than your ACL, your PCL can still tear. Causes of a PCL injury can include striking your knee against a dashboard during a car accident, or if you’re an athlete, falling on your knee while it’s bent.
Symptoms of a PCL Injury
Symptoms of a PCL injury may include swelling, knee pain, difficulty walking or bearing weight on your knee, or a wobbly sensation in your knee. Over time, a PCL injury can lead to osteoarthritis in your knee.
PCL Injury Treatments
Our physicians and surgeons at KSF Orthopaedic Center can check for the extent of your PCL injury with either a device called an arthrometer or through x-rays or an MRI. Most individuals can recover from a PCL injury without surgery. However, some will need to undergo physical therapy or surgery if their injury involved more than one ligament or they experience chronic symptoms.
Your meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that helps cushion and stabilizes your knee joint while protecting your bones from wear-and-tear. When you fall and twist your knee, it can cause a meniscus tear that can be quite painful and debilitating. Meniscus tears are common among athletes in contact sports, such as football, or in sports requiring many jumping movements, such as volleyball or soccer. Because your meniscus weakens with age, older athletes are especially prone to meniscus tears.
Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear
A meniscus tear’s symptoms include a popping sensation when the injury occurs, followed by swelling and pain in your knee. It can also include difficulty bending and straightening your leg and a tendency for your knee to feel like it’s stuck or in a “locked up” position.
Meniscus Tear Treatments
Usually, an MRI can evaluate the extent of knee cartilage damage to determine what treatment method would work best. Your age, activity level, and other related injuries will help determine treatment. Not all meniscus tears require surgery. However, suppose you have a significant meniscus tear that is unrepairable even after surgery. In that case, you’re probably going to be at a much higher risk of developing knee arthritis.