An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is a common injury, especially among athletes. The expert orthopaedists at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine, in Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, and Hardeeville, South Carolina, diagnose ACL tears and provide customized treatments ranging from bracing to surgery. If you think you have an ACL tear or another knee injury, call Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine or schedule a consultation online today.
Your ACL is one of the ligaments that support and stabilize your knee. The ACL extends diagonally through the middle of your knee, creating an X with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). It prevents your kneecap from sliding over your tibia.
An ACL tear occurs when it’s overstretched and damaged. ACL tears are common sports injuries. Some of the most common causes of ACL tears include:
ACL tears are painful. You might hear a popping sound when you injure your knee, and swelling typically develops within 24 hours. You lose range of motion in your knee and feel pain when you walk.
If you think you have an ACL injury, it’s essential to see an orthopaedic specialist. A minor injury might heal on its own, but working with the team at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine ensures that you heal correctly and quickly so you can safely return to your normal activities.
The team at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine begins by reviewing your symptoms and discussing how you injured your knee. They also collect your medical history and lifestyle details.
Your doctor examines your knee and tests your range of motion. They compare the structures of your injured knee and your uninjured knee to identify a baseline for normal function. The team also uses X-rays and MRIs to examine the inside of your knee in more detail.
Treatment for your ACL tear depends on the severity of your injury. For example, if your injury is mild, your doctor might recommend wearing a brace, using ice, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to ease the pain and swelling. They might also recommend physical therapy.
However, if your injury is more severe, you might need surgery to repair the ligament. During ACL reconstruction, your orthopaedic surgeon uses a tissue graft to repair your ligament and restore knee stability.
The team at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine uses minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery techniques whenever possible. Because arthroscopic surgery only requires a few small incisions in your knee, you recover more quickly and with a lower risk of complications.
You need to wear a brace after your surgery and have physical therapy to rebuild strength, flexibility, and stability in your knee.
Call Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine or make an appointment online today if you think you have an ACL tear and need expert diagnosis and treatment.