Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears account for approximately half of all knee injuries. This type of injury is common among athletes and can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent. Around 90-95% of ACL tears are non-contact injuries due to sudden stopping or cutting movements.
However, proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial to avoid permanent damage and further complications. Although each individual may experience different signs and symptoms, knowing about the common symptoms of an ACL tear can help receive proper treatment immediately.
Let’s talk about the symptoms of an ACL tear, its treatment options, and where you can go for comprehensive orthopedic care in Little Rock, AR.
Pain or Tenderness
The affected area is typically tender to the touch, especially around the knee joint. You may experience increased pain when you apply pressure on the injury.
Swelling can occur immediately after the injury. It may also worsen within a couple of hours as the body tries to repair itself.
The injured leg may feel unstable when walking or running due to instability in the knee joint. You may even experience a “popping” sensation when the ligament tears.
Loss of Range of Motion
Pain and swelling may limit the knee’s range of motion. In severe cases, you may notice decreased flexibility and an inability to extend your leg fully.
You may experience the mentioned symptoms with difficulty walking, bruising, and shin splints. In some cases, you may also experience a “locking” sensation that prevents total movement.
There are very mild ACL tears where patients only experience knee discomfort and instability. Apart from these, they don’t observe the other signs. However, you must get an accurate diagnosis to ensure proper treatment and prevent further injury.
You can take care of your health by not ignoring any signs or symptoms that could indicate an ACL tear.
Treatments for an ACL Tear
Treatment for this injury will depend on its severity, but it all starts with a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will perform a physical exam to assess your condition.
They may also recommend imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the injury.
In mild cases, doctors may suggest physical therapy and rest.
However, surgery might be necessary for severe injuries with total ligament tears. It involves either reconstructing or replacing the damaged ligament with a tendon from elsewhere in your body.
No matter the treatment option, rehabilitation after an ACL tear can take several months. During this time, you must follow your doctor’s instructions carefully for a successful recovery. Your rehabilitation program may include the following exercises:
- Stretching and strengthening
- Active range of motion
They will also work with you to prevent future injuries.
When to See an Orthopedic Surgeon for an ACL Tear
If you think you may have an ACL tear, it is crucial to seek medical attention right away. An orthopedic surgeon can assess the severity of your injury and recommend a treatment plan best suited for you.
They can also advise whether or not surgery is necessary. It is essential to receive proper treatment to avoid long-term damage and other complications.
Total ACL tears do not heal on their own. Therefore, it is essential to seek help if you experience any of the mentioned signs and symptoms.
With timely and proper treatment, you can return to your usual activities in no time.
Comprehensive Treatment for ACL Tear in Little Rock, AR
Do you need comprehensive and effective treatment for your ACL tear in Little Rock, AR? Look no further than what Bowen Hefley Orthopedics offers.
Our team of experienced orthopedic experts is committed to providing the best treatment to patients of all ages. With the support of our dedicated staff, we can treat your orthopedic condition or injury in no time.
Dr. William Hefley, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, is considered one of Arkansas’ top healthcare providers. He specializes in sports medicine and is knowledgeable in conservative and surgical means of treating musculoskeletal problems.
We look forward to serving you!