ACL injury or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of the most common sports-related injuries. Athletes that play high-demand exertion games like basketball, cricket, hockey, soccer, football, and throwball – are more likely to face an ACL injury. However, this specific injury is not limited to sportsmen only, but children and adults also suffer from it usually. This injury can take place because of an unbalanced long jump, sudden fall or accidental blow to the knee. ACL is also one of the four main ligaments within your knee, and hurting it may only require a surgery as the best cure. The other three major ligaments of your knee are:
- MCL or TCL
- LCL, and
However, our today’s topic of discussion is solely related to an ACL injury and what you need to do if this is something you or someone around you is facing. An ACL injury falls under the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon and consultant.
What Are The Symptoms Of An ACL Injury?
This injury is solely related to the partial or complete tearing, along with the stretching of the anterior cruciate ligaments. The usual symptoms involve a popping sound as soon as the injury takes place, or pain in your knee. The area around the injury will start to swell within a few hours. And, if the injury is severe, the other ligaments, bones, tissue or muscles will also be affected. The person facing an ACL injury may fall, trip or completely abstain from walking itself. In case of a sudden impact, the person may feel a lot of pain. Thus, people around an ACL injured have to be quite careful and need to support the person to get immediate medical assistance.
Who Treats An ACL Injury?
As soon as you see or go through an ACL injury, seek an immediate medical diagnosis. This will ensure that the injury doesn’t impact the whole knee or other parts of the ligaments. The orthopedic will suggest an MRI scan to get a clear picture of the damaged anterior cruciate ligament. This MRI scanning will clear how far the damage has gone, and what are the next steps to ensure the patient can get well soon. During the scanning, a loose joint, reduced motion of your knee or any kind of swelling around the other parts will be discussed and checked. If the injury is minor, the orthopedic surgeon will suggest certain therapies to cure the damage. However, if this is something that needs to be reconstructed – than a surgery is the best recommendation.
What Types Of Treatments Are Needed?
An ACL injury has two different types of cure, and fall under two different grades according to experts. These recommendations are solely made by an expert orthopedic surgeon or physician. As quoted above, if the ACL injury is minor then non-surgical recommendations such as below are suggested:
The ortho doctor does ensure that the patient is fully recovered with a careful medical examination. This allows the affected region of the anterior cruciate ligament to heal without any secondary damage or injury. However, if there is a second injury on the same ligament or the initial damage is huge – the surgical option is the only hope to get the ligament back in shape. Let us see what surgery can do, and how it can help an injured.
What Is The Surgical Treatment Of An ACL Injury?
Surgery is the second option if therapies, braces, and rehabilitation fail. The ACL tears are fully repaired during this procedure. There are certain procedures depending on the severeness of the damage. An expert orthopedic is going to suggest autograft or allograft for treating an ACL injury. This reconstruction of ACL tear is observed with critical monitoring. And further, the autografting of the tendons or quadriceps may be required. Whereas, the allograft is usually taken from a cadaver or patellar tendon.
It can also use a posterior tibialis tendon, an Achilles tendon, gracilis or semitendinosus tendon. With youngsters or underage kids, the ACL injury is tried to be treated without any surgical option. As the risk is quite high to damage the growth plate. And, thus the deformation of the bones may be possible. Thus, therapies are recommended along with avoiding physical exertion. Because, if the damage is done twice – the surgery is going to be imminent.
What About Pain Management Solution?
Orthopedic surgeons always suggest PMS – pain management solution in both the procedures. Whether it is surgical or nonsurgical – the patient is trained to do pain management without taking extra painkillers. No doubt, an ACL tear is quite painful, and despite being anesthetized the patient will still feel the pain in the knee or the surrounding area. The main reason for natural pain management treatment is to avoid getting the body addicted to narcotics.
Heavy dosage is allowed only for a few days, and later the physician’s start doing therapies to get you fit. The usual mobility is obviously affected, and you as a patient may require a wheelchair or crutches. But, if the medicines and therapies are followed religiously – the usual timeframe is three to six months to get back to normal walking phase. However, this time frame is solely depending on the severeness of the injury along with the procedure to cure to it.
Is Rehabilitation An Option?
According to a recent survey conducted by WHO, 200,000 people suffer an ACL injury every year within the U.S. And, third world countries have even a bigger track record of an ACL damage. If you do not get a proper medical facility in a timely manner – then you may have to suffer from osteoarthritis. Men and women equally suffer from a complete tear injury and need to opt for every available option to cure it. As discussed above, ortho physicians always select a nonsurgical option, if the damage is minor. Rehabilitation falls under the nonsurgical treatment and needs to be carefully monitored and practiced.
Patients have to be careful to avoid a second-degree tear or injury. If you have to opt for a rehab under a surgical procedure, then your wound is going to stay open and dry for the first fourteen days. This assistance allows you to regain complete mobility and to straighten-up your knee. This procedure also restores the control of the quadriceps. Pakistan comes with a huge lack of necessary medical equipment and experts. Despite all such odds, you can reach Prof M A Wajid to discuss any ACL related tear or injury. He is an expert ortho physician and is able to guide with an expert advise.