Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are some of the most common knee injuries in America, with up to 200,000 reported cases every year. If you don’t treat it right away, an injured ACL can severely limit your mobility and affect your quality of life. At OasisMD in Encinitas, San Diego, and Temecula, California, David Chao, MD, and the expert team of orthopedists and surgeons can diagnose and treat ACL tears and make sure they heal correctly. If you suffer a knee injury, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments that runs diagonally across your knee. The ACL connects bones together and keeps your knee stable. It prevents the tibia from sliding over the femur and provides rotational stability to your knee.
An ACL injury happens when the ligament partially or completely tears. Most ACL injuries involve surrounding cartilage and ligaments as well.
ACL tears often happen during sports or intense physical activity that puts stress on your knees. An ACL tear can happen because of:
ACL tears are most common in athletes that play sports like football, basketball, skiing, and soccer, where these types of movements are repeated frequently.
At the time of your injury you may hear a popping sound and feel your knee give out from under you. You may also experience swelling, tenderness and lose your full range of motion.
At OasisMD, renowned orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Chao, can have you back to playing your sport six to nine months after your injury.
Every treatment begins with a physical exam to determine the extent of the injury. Your specialist may also order additional imaging tests like an MRI scan or X-rays to view the interior of your knee and confirm the diagnosis.
The majority of ACL injuries require surgery that completely reconstructs your ACL using new ligament from a graft. Based on your injury, your doctor can recommend three types of grafts:
The patellar tendon runs between your kneecap and shin bone and as a graft source, it has the lowest graft failure rate.
Hamstring tendons from the back of your thigh are another common graft source and allow for a quicker recovery with less post-surgery stiffness.
Also known as an allograft, a cadaver graft uses ligament tissue from a donor and has the advantage of no pain from a graft harvest that comes from your own body.
All ACL grafts are performed at the clinic and you can go home a few hours after the procedure. Soon after your surgery, you start a regimen of physical therapy for six to nine months after which you can return to your sport.
The practice has a state-of-the-art physical therapy gym on-site for convenient and efficient treatments.
If you suffer a knee injury and experience symptoms that suggest an ACL tear, call the office or use the online scheduler to book an appointment at OasisMD right away.