Have an ACL Tear? Here is What You Need to Know
What if your ACL tear never heals? What are the consequences of this injury to you, your family, and the rest of society? It’s hard to say. But what you can do is be proactive in taking care of yourself by getting an ACL tear specialist. In Bayonne, New Jersey, there are such experts. They’ll do a proper assessment of the severity of the tear before offering assistance. A Bayonne ACL tear specialist also guides you on physical therapy. This blog post will give you some information about why that might be a good idea for anyone who has sustained an ACL tear.
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What is an ACL Tear
The human knee comprises four different ligaments, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL attaches on one end to the femur bone. This is in front and on another side attaches to the tibia or shinbone behind. When someone sustains an ACL tear, they have suffered damage to this vital ligament. It typically happens when an athlete lands on their foot and twists their leg inward, causing it to turn too far and pull away from the other leg. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments in the knee joint that stabilizes your knee. Since it supports a lot of weight, the tear tends to be painful when walking, becoming difficult.
What are the Consequences of an ACL Tear?
Over time, the consequences of having an injured ACL include chronic pain, arthritis, and degenerative changes to the knee joint itself. These can lead to even more severe conditions such as meniscal injury or cartilage damage. If the knee is left untreated, it can become arthritic and stiff, which may slow down your ability to enjoy many of life’s activities with your family.
How to Determine if You Have an ACL Tear
ACL injuries are diagnosed by testing the following:
- The Lachman Test: With your knees straight, place your fingers on the medial (inner) side of the injured knee. Press down and back with about 10 pounds of pressure. Typically, a leg should feel very stable when tested like this. You probably have an ACL tear if you can get your leg to move backward (toward the other knee).
- The Pivot Shift Test: Laying on your back, grab both knees and turn each one in toward the opposite side’s elbow. If there is a loose or unstable feeling when performing this test, you probably have an ACL tear.
Treatment Options for an ACL Tear
If you have torn the ACL in your knee, there are three treatment options. At this point, it is essential to determine what type of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury you sustained. Depending on the severity, your doctor could consider starting with more conventional treatments such as physical therapy. However, to reduce postoperative pain, swelling and for a more rapid recovery, you could also consider using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Surgery can at times be necessary when all the other methods fail to bring positive results.
If you have sustained an ACL tear, it is essential to get the best care possible. Seeing a specialist is the approach as they know the treatments that work. Surgery may be necessary and could help reduce postoperative pain and swelling and offer a more rapid recovery.