This ligament is connected from the medial horn of the medial meniscus and passes superior and laterally to the lateral femoral condyle. The ACL is placed in the center of the knee and provides major stability for the knee. The ACL checks:

  • anterior translation of the tibia on the femur
  • internal and external rotation of the tibia
  • Hyperextension of the tibia.

Most often, the ACL is damaged when the foot is planted and someone or something strikes the knee. Also a sudden stop or sharp turn with the foot planted can also tear the ACL. ACL “non-contact” injuries occur more often in females than in males.

ACL Tear Symptoms:

  • Instability in the knee, “giving – out” sensation of the knee
  • Knee pain
  • Swelling within the joint
  • Discoloration

Diagnosis of a Torn ACL:

  • Your physician will evaluate your injury by taking a complete medical history, including mechanism of injury, prior injuries and symptoms. Your physician will perform a complete physical examination of your knee. Your physician may then recommend an MRI which is the best way for seeing an ACL tear.

Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament Treatment:

  • There are a few treatment options with an ACL tear. The treatment options can be determined by the degree of the tear, the age of the person, and the lifestyle that the person lives.

ACL Surgery:

  • The surgeon performs an arthoscopic surgery. The surgeon will drill holes in the tibia and the femur, remove the damaged ACL, and he will replace the old ACL with a graft. The graft is anchored in by screws.

There are two types of grafts that are available:

  • Allograft – obtained from a cadaver
  • Autograft – obtained from your own body; either a hamstring or patellar ligament, etc.

Prior to Surgery, when the injury first occurs:

  • Rest – stay off your leg as much as possible, or an ambulatory device can be used, such as crutches.
  • Ice – use ice for 20 minutes on with 40 minutes off throughout the day, for the first 72 hours since the injury occurred
  • Compress – use a compression sleeve or ace wrap. This will help to reduce the swelling.
  • Elevate your leg – keep your knee elevated.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory or pain medication prescribed by your physician.
  • Strengthen your quadriceps muscles.

ACL Rehabilitation:

  • Rehabilitation from an ACL injury progression is based on protocol and how the patient adapts to the procedure.
  • Your therapist will also stress getting full knee flexion and knee extension.

Prevention:

  • Strengthen the hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
  • Strengthen the core muscle.
  • Make sure you have full hip range of motion.

Knee Replacement

The Knee has 2 joints, the tibiofemoral joint and the patella-femoral joint. The tibiofemoral joint is where the femur articulates with the tibial plateau. The patella-femoral joint is the way the patella articulates with the femur. The cartilage that covers these joints can be damaged over time and cause chronic pain and impede daily living.

Symptoms:

  • Chronic Knee Pain

Diagnosis:

  • Your physician will evaluate your injury by taking a complete medical history, including mechanism of injury, prior injuries and symptoms. Your physician will perform a complete physical examination of your knee.

Treatment:

  • Surgery

The surgeon will place prostheses on all aspects of the joints articulating surfaces. There will be artificial prostheses on the femoral condyles, the tibial plateau and behind the patella. These coverings replace the damaged cartilage at the joint lines. The knee stability comes from the congruity of the joint, as well as, the muscles that surround the knee.

Rehab:

  • Following surgery, your physical therapist will work with you to strengthen the muscles that surround and help to stabilize your knee: your quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, and calf muscles.
  • Your therapist will also stress getting full knee flexion and knee extension.
  • Your physician may suggest you use an ambulatory device; such as forearm crutches or a cane.
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