ACL Tear Surgery

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An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear frequently occurs among individuals with active lifestyles and those engaged in physical sports. ACL tears do not typically heal naturally and necessitate prompt treatment for the restoration of normal function. If you seek effective ACL reconstruction treatment, reach out to Pilot Heal, conveniently located near you.

What is ACL Tear?

An ACL injury involves a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, a ligament situated on the inner side of the knee joint. Such injuries are common among individuals who participate in sports such as football, basketball, and soccer. Often, individuals experience a popping sensation or hear a pop when an ACL injury occurs.

The treatment approach for an ACL injury depends on its type and severity. Severe ACL tears typically do not heal on their own, requiring prompt treatment to alleviate persistent pain and discomfort. In milder cases of ACL tears, rest and rehabilitative exercises play a pivotal role in regaining strength and stability.

How is an ACL Injury Diagnosed?

To diagnose an ACL injury, a physician conducts a physical examination to assess knee swelling and tenderness. The physician also assesses the knee's range of motion and overall function by manipulating it into various positions. Additionally, various imaging tests are recommended to rule out other causes and determine the extent of the injury. These tests may include:

X-rays:   Primarily employed to rule out bone fractures, X-rays do not visualize soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This technique employs radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create images of both hard and soft tissues within the body. MRI scans can reveal the extent of an ACL injury and signs of damage to other knee tissues, including cartilage.

Ultrasound:   Utilizing sound waves to visualize internal structures, ultrasound may be employed to assess injuries in ligaments, tendons, and knee muscles.

Post-Operative Care

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What are the Different ACL Reconstruction Treatment Options?

Different treatment options for ACL reconstruction surgery are as follows:

Surgical treatment option:

Knee arthroscopy:  This minimally invasive procedure allows surgeons to visualize, diagnose, and repair the anterior cruciate ligament using small instruments. A thin tube equipped with a fibro-optic camera is inserted into the joint through a small incision, enabling the surgeon to assess the knee's interior and determine the injury's severity. Subsequently, torn tissues are repaired, damaged bone or cartilage is removed, and inflamed or damaged tissues are excised. The incision is closed with stitches or small bandages, followed by wrapping the knee with a larger bandage or dressing.

Knee ligament repair: An outpatient procedure involving the replacement of the ligament with a section of healthy tendon. This procedure is performed under anesthesia and boasts a relatively short recovery period.

Non-surgical treatment options:

  • Application of ice to the knee multiple times a day.
  • Elevation of the knee above heart level.
  • Reduced or discontinued activity for a few weeks.
  • Knee compression using a bandage or wrap.
  • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to reduce swelling and expedite recovery.