The knee is a joint that is highly important to go on with day to day activities. The knee joint is a complex network of tendons and ligaments. And these tendons and ligaments are supposed to stay in place to help to move around or even perform any athletic activity. Unfortunately these tendons and ligaments can get injured when not properly taken care of while doing a heavy activity.
What is an ACL?
One of the most crucial ligaments in the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. It is responsible for maintaining the knee’s rotational stability and holds the tibia in place. ACL is a kind of belt that holds the bone in place when it is torn you cannot bend or any further. The ACL is highly vulnerable to injuries during any sort of sports activity leading to an ACL tear. ACL injury in knee is quite common in sports that involve running, turning, and jumping.
What are the signs of an ACL tear?
- A pop sound at the time of the wound
- Severe pain
- Swelling at the site
- Severe weakness
- Unable to move a step
What are the stages or types of a ACL tear?
Usually, stages of an ACL tear are designated by an ACL tear specialist to rule out the treatment recommendation and also to identify the severity of the injury. They are graded into three different stages,
In this the injury has affected the ACL that has damaged it. But there is no tear reported and the ACL is holding the knee joint in one piece.
In this the ACL is partially torn due to the injury, and the hold on the knee joint is partially loosened.
The ACL is completely torn and there is no support to the knee joint.
Is an ACL tear painful?
People who have experienced an ACL tear may know how it feels to experience an ACL tear. Usually while experiencing an ACL tear you may feel a pop sound during the injury. ACL tear is commonly reported to be painful but there are a few people who report it to be a discomfort.
What are the common causes of an ACL tear?
Usually an ACL tear occurs if extreme pressure is put on the joint. And also it can occur if you keep your knee moving and twisting.
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Falling from a height
How does an ACL tear affect your daily life?
The ACL has a major role in stabilizing your knee joint, and when this ACL is torn it brings in a sense of instability and people with the injury would require additional support to even move an inch. And this instability may last for a few months until you are completely recovered.
What are the diagnostic procedures recommended for an ACL tear?
An ACL tear specialist in Coimbatore will recommend a set of procedures to confirm the level of damage. Here are the diagnostic procedures for an ACL tear:
ACL orthopedic specialists will make a thorough examination of the injury site including the mobility range and pain severity. A test called the anterior drawer test will be performed to confirm the specific torn ACL symptoms.
To further confirm the ACL tear X-ray will be performed to determine the level of tear as it takes images of the injury site. Further imaging tests may be recommended based on the results of X-ray.
What are the physical consequences of an ACL tear?
Beyond immediate pain, instability, and mobility issues, an ACL tear can show certain physical consequences that impact the health of the knee.
Damage to the cartilage:
The instability that results from an ACL tear can lead to unwanted forces in the knee joint during the movement after an ACL tear. This can lead to wear and tear on the knee articular cartilage, increasing the risk of various joint related health conditions.
Various studies have shown that ACL tears have increased the risk of osteoarthritis in many individuals. The affected structure and increased stress on the joint can speed up the changes in the joint leading to arthritis accompanied by stiffness and knee pain.
What are the prevention measures for an ACL tear?
Given the impact of an ACL tear, particularly in sports people, you should consider following certain preventive tips for ACL tear:
Strength and conditioning:
Regular strength and conditioning exercises, along with focusing on the muscles around the knee joint, can enhance stability and reduce the chances of ACL injuries.
Proper techniques and training:
Ensuring proper technique during sports and training activities is important for an ACL injury.
In certain sports and activities, wearing appropriate protective gear, such as knee braces, can provide an added layer of support and reduce the risk of ACL injuries, especially in high-risk cases.
Is surgery the only treatment option for ACL tears?
Not all require to undergo an ACL tear surgery, most people who they suffer grade 1 ACL tear injuries may not require a surgery. But if the ACL is partially or completely torn then you need to undergo a surgery for a better restoration of the joint.
How long is the ACL tear recovery time?
Usually, the recovery time of ACL tear may take about six to nine months to recover completely. Although you may continue your regular activities after a certain period, you may need to wait for a complete recovery to perform any major activities or sports.
An ACL tear is more than just a sports injury, it is a changing event that requires attention to different aspects of physical and mental health. With timely diagnosis, accurate treatment, active recovery, along with following preventive measures can help people with an ACL tear to restore mobility and function. Book an appointment with the best ortho hospital in Coimbatore to seek the best treatment for an ACL tear.