Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is among the most common issues that bring men and women to New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. The practice offers an outstanding team of board-certified professionals with the skills and training needed to address an ACL tear and get residents of New Braunfels, Texas, back on their feet and back into the swing of their normal daily routines. The process begins with a phone call or a visit to the online scheduling page to set up a visit.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important ligaments in your knee joint. Ligaments are tough, rope-like tissues that work to connect two bones together. Your knee has four main ligaments that support and stabilize the joint.
Your cruciate ligaments are inside the knee joint and form an “X” shape. The anterior cruciate ligament holds your tibia in place and supports rotational stability to the knee joint.
All types of ligament damage are considered to be sprains, and there are various degrees of damage. The mildest form of an ACL injury is a slight stretching of the ligament. Your ACL can also become stretched to the point that the ligament loosens, or can sustain a complete tear into two portions, which leaves the joint without proper support.
Your knee joint is incredibly strong and performs innumerable tasks throughout each day. However, your ACL can sustain injury in a number of ways, including:
ACL tears are common among athletes, where the dynamics of practice and play create numerous opportunities for unusual knee movement. Research also shows that women are more likely than men to sustain ACL tears, perhaps due to muscle strength imbalances. Hormonal issues and differences in jumping/landing techniques are factors as well.
Many ACL injuries create an audible “popping” sound and an immediate loss of stability in the affected knee joint. In other cases, you might experience the following symptoms:
It’s important to pay attention to these symptoms. Left untreated, a significant ACL tear will leave your joint without the support it needs and can lead to further injury.
If you sustain a significant or full tear of your ACL ligament, surgery is often the only viable solution. Your orthopaedic surgeon reconstructs the ligament using a tissue graft. The graft material can come from another location in your body, or even from a cadaver donor.
A period of rehabilitation follows, giving your body a chance to heal as you increase the strength of the muscles supporting your knee joints. Once the healing process is complete, many patients are able to return to their previous activity levels.
In some cases, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can be used to facilitate your body’s maximal healing response. This approach will be discussed with you at your office visit with your surgeon.
If you have questions or concerns about an ACL tear, call New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment. Online booking is also available and allows you to schedule from the comfort of home, any time of day or night.