An ACL tear is a painful injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. It is one of the two ligaments crossing in the shape of an “X” in the center of your knee, and the other is the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
Together, they connect your thighbone (the bone in your upper leg) to your shinbone (the large bone in your lower leg) to enable movement and flexibility. The ACL is more frequently injured because of its location in front of the PCL, just behind the kneecap.
If you are active and athletic, you may be at risk of an ACL tear – one of the most common knee injuries. It is also a common injury for people who have been in an accident. Repetitive movements, a strong twisting action, or any motion that puts a great amount of stress on the knee can lead to a torn ACL.
ACL tears have different levels of severity. The ACL may stretch but remain stable (mild), become partially torn and loose (moderate), or be completely torn (severe). The treatment recommended by your orthopedic doctor will depend on the severity of your knee injury.
Let’s talk about some of the typical reasons behind an ACL tear, and where you can go in Little Rock for outstanding orthopedic treatment of your knee injury and joint pain.
What Can Cause an ACL Tear?
ACL tears usually come with a “popping” sound from the knee at the time of injury. Swelling immediately follows. A patient may also experience sudden pain and knee instability, especially when placing weight on the affected leg.
Common causes of an ACL tear include the following activities:
Start/stop motions (such as in basketball and tennis), as well as frequent changes in direction, can cause an ACL tear. Most ACL tears are not due to direct, forceful contact, but a direct blow to the knee, such as a football tackle, may indeed cause a torn ACL.
Some sports are more likely to cause ACL injuries than others. For example, college football causes the highest number of ACL injuries in men. Other sports include:
- Ice/field hockey
Any sport that involves a lot of jumping, pivoting, running, and sudden stopping can place you at risk.
Strenuous Physical Jobs and Chores
An ACL tear can also happen in labor-intensive jobs and activities, especially those that require heavy lifting. A faulty movement can stretch and tear the ACL. An example would be abruptly twisting and turning the knee while lifting an object.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
A car accident can cause knee injuries, including a torn ACL. For example, a car crash may instantly cause the knee to hit against the car’s interior surface with forceful impact.
Slip and Fall
An awkward landing during a fall may twist the knee and cause it to give out. This accident may cause a stretch or tear in the ligaments holding your knee together, possibly causing a torn ACL.
Treatment for an ACL Tear in Little Rock, AR
It is possible to regain full function of your knee and return to the activities you love after an ACL tear. The treatment for an ACL tear will depend on its severity. Physical therapy, wearing a knee brace, and/or outpatient surgery are the best solutions for successful ACL repairs. If you have knee pain, consult an orthopedic doctor in Little Rock immediately for proper treatment.
At Bowen Hefley Orthopedics, you’ll receive expert medical care for all your orthopedic concerns. Our team is led by Dr. William Hefley, our orthopedic surgeon who is passionate about helping patients live active lifestyles free of pain.
We have locations in Little Rock and North Little Rock for your convenience. To schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today at (800) 336-2412 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet!