Center For Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Surgeons & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Lubbock, TX
A tear to your anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the most common knee injuries. While it often happens to athletes, the agony isn’t exclusively theirs. If you live in Lubbock, Texas, or the surrounding area and have injured your anterior cruciate ligament, trust the orthopedic specialists at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery for treatment. Call or use the online booking agent to make an appointment and avoid long-term knee impairment.
ACL Tear Q & A
What is the ACL?
Ligaments connect bones to one another, including the three bones that form the knee joint. Four ligaments hold the knee joint together. The cruciate ligaments are on the sides of your knee, crossing like the letter "X," and control forward and backward movement of your knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is a broad ligament that runs diagonally and forms the front cross in the "X." Its principal roles are to prevent the tibia from sliding too far forward and to stabilize the knee joint as it rotates.
What causes the ACL to tear?
ACL tears commonly happen in sports, including soccer, football, and basketball. Skiing falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other trauma can also cause the ACL to tear. The movements that often result in an ACL tear include:
- Quick changes in direction and pivoting
- Stopping suddenly or slowing down abruptly while running
- Landing from a jump
- Direct contact, such as being tackled in a football game
What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?
When the injury occurs, you may hear a popping sound and the knee may collapse. Other symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling
- Tenderness and sensitivity along the joint line
- Discomfort while walking and feelings of instability if you attempt to return to sports play
- Compromised range of motion
How is an ACL tear treated?
Once an X-ray, MRI, or other diagnostic test confirms the ACL tear, the doctors at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery develop a treatment plan. Their strategy depends on many factors, including the severity of your tear, your age, and your goals. Serious athletes who want to return to play as soon as possible may receive a more aggressive treatment plan than someone who is not very active.
The options for treatment include lifestyle counseling and surgery. Surgery is not always warranted, but when it is, it should occur in the first few weeks following the injury.
Following ACL surgery, you go through rehabilitation, which involves restoring full joint function and getting you back to sports and work as soon as possible. It takes most people 6-9 months to regain knee function following surgery fully.
If you have an injury to your knee, don’t wait. Contact the Center for Orthopedic Surgery for immediate diagnosis of a possible ACL tear and treatment.