The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of tissues in the knee that joins the thigh bone to the shin bone and helps stabilize the knee joint. Generally, there are three types of ACL injury:
ACL tears generally occur when the knee is wrenched in a way it is not designed for and frequently occurs during sports like skiing, soccer, basketball, or football, but can also happen during the course of normal day-to-day activities, such as falling off a ladder or climbing stairs. Ultimately, any activity that involves the following movements can lead to an ACL injury:
Aging can also play a role -- as we age, these ligaments tend to weaken, increasing the chances for injury to the ACL.
There is rarely little doubt when it comes to knee injuries as the effects are often immediate and painful. With ACL tears, most people report:
If you are experiencing any of the above, see Dr. Burns as soon as possible to determine the source of the problem and to get started on a treatment. Using the latest diagnostic tools, Dr. Burns will determine the extent of the injury and which course of action to take to get you moving freely again.
Like most injuries, if you think you’ve injured your ACL, immediate attention is crucial while you wait to see the doctor. The common RICE model is best at stabilizing the area and preventing further damage:
After Dr. Burns makes a full assessment of the injury, he determines what degree of intervention is required, which may include:
When recommending a treatment plan, Dr. Burns also takes into consideration your goals for getting back to physical activity.