In sports medicine, there are specific areas of the body that our team sees regularly that require treatment, repair, or reconstruction. Many sports that require twisting of the knees and legs see more ACL tears than other sports. The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the primary ligaments located in the knee. It is positioned int eh middle of the knee and runs from the shin bone to the thigh bone, also known as the tibia and femur. Along with the PCL, or the posterior cruciate ligament, it maintains stability of the knee during rotations. If the knee area is forcefully twisted during an activity or unexpectedly hyperextended, it can result in an ACL injury.
What injuries can occur to the ACL?
The most common injury to the ACL is an ACL tear. This is caused by an abrupt and unexpected change in the knee, such as movements often associated with basketball. Injuries may also be caused by direct collision, contact sports (such as football tackles), and even improper jumps. When the tear occurs, most patients experience a popping sound and feel as though their knee “gave out.” Within a few hours of the injury, the knee will begin to swell and pain and discomfort may be experienced. Getting a proper diagnosis of the condition with a medical professional is the first step in finding a solution. This condition is diagnosed with certain tests and physical examinations to determine the extent of the injury and to decide the best course of action for treatment.
What treatments are available?
There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments that may be recommended depending on the severity of the injury and the patient’s age, stamina, and overall medical health. Non-surgical methods include a protocol of rest and ice along with physical therapy to strengthen the knee and improve range of motion. Surgical procedures are used to repair the ACL and any other impacted ligaments for more severe cases.
Are you concerned you have an ACL tear?
Contact Drs. Peter Holmes and Kathren McCarty of Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery today for a consultation visit and initial evaluation. We can provide diagnosis and treatment for this and many other sports or occupational injuries. Call our main office at (210) 696-9000 to schedule an appointment with our team at either one of our two convenient locations in the communities of Schertz and San Antonio, TX.