You Think You’ve Torn Your ACL… Now What?

December 14, 2017 8:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A torn ACL is an extremely common athletic injury that can cause severe pain in the knee, trouble walking or running and decreased athletic ability. ACLs do not repair themselves, so athletes who believe they’ve torn their ACL usually need to undergo surgery to completely repair the ligament. ACL tears can occur from twisting or hyperextending the leg to the point at which the ligament is pushed past its limit.

If you believe you have a torn ACL and require ACL surgery in Las Vegas, NV, it’s important to understand the inner workings of your knee and what is involved in ACL recovery. By meeting with and receiving treatment from an orthopedic surgeon, you should be back on the field within a year.

Identifying a torn ACL

If you feel pain in your knee and believe it’s coming from a torn ACL, it’s a good idea to check your symptoms against the common signs of a torn ACL before making an appointment with a specialist. These four specific qualities are very common with ACL injuries:

  • Popping sound: At the time of injury, most athletes report that they hear a distinct “pop” sound from their knee. The sound can be quite loud and startling. Additionally, you will likely feel a pop or shift.
  • Sudden pain: Immediately after the popping sound, there will likely be a searing, intense pain in the area around the knee. This pain will likely continue after the initial time of injury due to swelling.
  • Knee instability: The ACL is one of the most critical components of the knee and helps stabilize it, which is why most ACL injuries cause knee instability. If you’ve torn your ACL, you will likely be unable to put weight on the injured leg or walk without extreme pain.
  • Swelling: Swelling is an extremely common sign after an ACL tear and can happen within minutes of injury. The swelling is typically considerable and is caused by blood and fluids flowing in and around the injury area.

Next steps for recovery

If you’ve checked your symptoms and believe your ACL is indeed torn, call a sports medicine physician and make an appointment to have it examined as soon as possible. In the meantime, try to avoid walking on the injured leg to prevent pain and ice the injured knee to help reduce swelling.

The pain may subside after a few weeks of icing and rest, but do not assume that this means your ACL has healed. A torn ACL cannot heal itself and must be repaired surgically, even if your symptoms decrease over time. Have the injury checked out by a medical professional before you cause further injury to the knee.

Once your doctor physically examines the injury, they will determine whether or not your ACL is indeed torn and if you need ACL surgery in Las Vegas, NV. They may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to address these needs.

After surgery is complete, recovery can take up to a year to allow the ACL to be fully repaired and ready to endure physical activity and repetitive motion. Physical therapy and other treatments may be required to assist you in your journey to recovery.

If you think you need ACL surgery in Las Vegas, NV, contact the office of Bernard Ong, M.D. and schedule an appointment with the premier orthopedic surgeon in the area. Our services include orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, arthroscopy, meniscus surgery, ACL surgery, knee replacement and more, and we take great care to deliver exceptional and personalized care to each and every patient. Call today!

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