An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear is one of the most common knee injuries. At Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC in Atlanta, Georgia, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Daniel Nicholson, MD, and his skilled team offer everything you need for an ACL injury, from on-site diagnostic imaging to physical therapy. Call or book an appointment online today for comprehensive care of ACL injuries.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in your knee. The ACL crosses in front of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) to form an X inside your knee. These ligaments work together to stabilize the knee’s rotation and control back-and-forth motion.
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain. ACL injuries can range from a mild sprain that slightly stretches the ligament to a complete tear that splits it in two pieces. Most ACL injuries involve complete or near-complete tears.
ACL injuries often occur during sports and activities like running and jumping. You can injure your ACL by stopping suddenly and/or changing direction while you’re running or if you land awkwardly from a jump.
A direct blow to the knee, like a football tackle or trauma from a car accident, can also cause an ACL injury.
You may hear a popping sound and feel your knee give out immediately after you injure your ACL. Other symptoms of an ACL injury include:
Though pain and swelling may resolve on their own, a damaged ACL will lead to problems with knee instability. If you continue to play sports with an injured ACL, you risk causing additional damage to your knee, such as a torn meniscus.
First, your Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC specialist reviews your symptoms and medical history. They carefully examine your knee, checking for restricted range of motion and tenderness along the joint line.
Your provider may also take tests, such as an on-site X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, to look for fractures and evaluate the ACL.
The expert team at Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC creates an individualized treatment plan for your specific needs. Depending on the severity of your injury and the physical demands of your lifestyle, treatment for an ACL injury may include:
Active adults and people with complex ACL injuries typically need surgery to restore knee stability. The team at Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC uses minimally invasive arthroscopy to replace a torn ACL with tissue from your patellar tendon or hamstring muscle. After surgery, you complete a physical therapy plan.
If you think you have an ACL injury, call Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC, or you can book an appointment online today.